Bell century in vain as England slump to second consecutive ODI warm-up defeat
15:03 GMT, 8 January 2013
15:58 GMT, 8 January 2013
An Ian Bell century was not enough as England slumped to a second warm-up defeat in three days ahead of Friday’s opening one-day international against India.
The tourists will head to Rajkot on Wednesday with plenty to think about, notably their failure to defend a formidable total of 294-4 against a Delhi team weaker than the India A side who overcame them at the weekend.
On another chill day, this time at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium where internationals are played, they could not stop the local select eleven overhauling them for the loss of four wickets with nine balls to spare.
Century boy: Bell scored a ton, but it wasn't enough to save England
While the batsmen did their job in the
watery afternoon sun, particularly Bell, who made light of the absence
of the rested Kevin Pietersen with a polished 108, the bowlers were
powerless to prevent their youthful opposition picking off the runs.
With Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad at home, new one-day coach Ashley Giles does not have too many options to turn things round before the end of the week, although Tim Bresnan sat this one out.
Certainly the attack looks short of leadership, with James Tredwell probably the pick and Steven Finn among those not having the happiest day.
Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bat against a team featuring three players with full international experience on a day when temperatures mercifully crept over double figures.
Having sufficiently recovered from the heavy cold that kept him out of Sunday’s defeat, Cook looked fluent in making 44 before he was bowled when Sumit Narwal went round the wicket.
Bell looked slightly awkward at first but then accelerated gracefully, hitting a series of extravagant drives through the covers after advancing down the wicket. He should have been stumped on 60, but otherwise he added to Sunday’s 91 almost faultlessly, making his 108 in 125 balls with two sixes and 10 fours.
Rough start: New limited-overs head coach Giles is yet to savour victory
Eoin Morgan looked comfortable in making a near run-a-ball 52 and Craig Kieswetter added the late surge with 41 off 27 balls that finished with two consecutive sixes swiped over mid wicket.
Having overdone the bouncers under the new two-per-over rule at the weekend there was less of them yesterday and Finn was guilty over-pitching as India made a strong start that was only undone with the introduction of Tredwell.
Unmukt Chand, India’s Under 19 skipper and regarded as high quality prospect, had been going well for his 37 but then lamely chipped the Kent spinner to Cook at mid-on.
With captain Shikhar Darwan, owner of five one-day caps, heading towards a century, the home team went smoothly to 188 for two but two quick wickets halted their progress and suggested that England would get their first win of this tour.
When part-time spinner Joe Root trapped Darwan for an excellent 110 – Tredwell was convinced he had him caught behind just before he brought up a century with a six – Cook looked to have pulled off a masterstroke.
But the inexperienced Milind Kumar, 21, rebuilt the momentum of the innings to the point where 75 were needed off the last 10 overs, and he ended unbeaten on 78.
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