Bell and England sign off in style
Ian Bell’s century sealed a morale-boosting seven-wicket victory in the final one-day international after England’s bowlers had taken advantage of Dharamsala's pitch living up to its pre-match billing as India's quickest.
Much attention had surrounded conditions in the picturesque setting, hosting international cricket for the first time, where temperatures are below 10 degrees.
Yet the chill was not the only thing reminding England of home, for the surface also proved more accommodating than is expected in India.
Tim Bresnan took full advantage, claiming 4-45 as the home side - who already had an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match rubber - were dismissed for 226 after losing the toss, despite Suresh Raina’s impressive 83.
That total proved far from substantial enough on a good deck that was perfectly complimented by a lightning fast outfield, which Bell - in particular - profited upon.
The opener took advantage of some initial fortuitous moments in an outstanding innings that anchored a run-chase featuring useful contributions of 22, 31 and 40 not out from Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan respectively.
Any hopes the hosts had of defending their total were all-but extinguished in a 53-run opening stand between Bell and Cook, who showed impressive composure in seeing off the new balls.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar looked the most threatening India bowler initially, yet the openers repelled the early storm before capitalising on any loose deliveries.
Cook would eventually be bowled when late defending an Ishant Sharma delivery, after which Kevin Pietersen pulled Shami Ahmed down the throat of Ravindra Jadeja at deep midwicket.
All the while, Bell was developing his innings perfectly; having initially prospered through cuts and clips, he began to unfurl an array of elegant drives all around the wicket as his stay wore on.
Helped along the way by Root further enhancing his stock with a classy stay and Morgan showing glimpses of the big-hitting form that eluded him earlier in the series, Bell finished unbeaten on 113 to end England’s tour on a high.
Earlier, Bresnan, James Tredwell and Steven Finn combined impressively to put paid to Indian hopes of an impressive total.
The trio claimed wickets at regular intervals, with Tredwell continuing his outstanding tour with a spell of 10-1-25-2, including the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Jadeja.
Only Raina was able to offer any sizeable resistance, profiting on three chances in a knock that meant his four innings in the series had each yielded half-centuries.
It mattered little in the end, however, as England earned a win that ensured their margin of defeat was 3-2 rather than 4-1 - a creditable result given the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott did not feature.
11:32am - END OF MATCH - ENGLAND WIN BY SEVEN WICKETS; Bell 113, Morgan 40 - Well, that's that. Bell drives confidently through cover for four and a single then seals the victory with 14 balls to spare. Losing 3-2 is a reasonable effort given the array of players not in England's squad. They can hold their heads high.
11:25am - Morgan seems keen on finishing this in a hurry, following up a six over mid-off by hooking another. Shami did not enjoy that.
11:17am - CENTURY! Bell (133b 11x4 1x6) - A fine hundred brought up in the perfect manner. Ishant errs too straight and Bell effortlessly clips through midwicket. Morgan then chips Ravichandran Ashwin for a maximum in the same area.
11:05am - Morgan is struggling to get going here, but Bell's play is ensuring there's little pressure on his partner. The opener adds to his boundary count with a lovely drive over mid-off.
10:52am - Unruffled by the loss of Root, Bell continues on his merry way by clipping an Ishant delivery that was too straight through fine-leg for four. England look comfortable.
10:43am - WICKET! Root b Jadeja 31; Eng 143/3 - Oh, that's a shame. It seemed Root was destined to see it through, but he is bowled by the ever-dangerous Jadeja playing an ill-advised slog-sweep.
10:31am - Bell has just delivered a shot-of-the-day contender, easing down the pitch and lifting Ravichandran Ashwin for a seemingly effortless straight six.
10:26am - Cracking stuff once more from Root, who swivel-pulls for another boundary. A couple of twos from Bell then take the partnership beyond 50.
10:17am - FIFTY! Bell (88b 7x4 0x6) - Bell reaches a crucial half-century with a push to long-off. He enjoyed some early fortune and needs to fully capitalise now.
10:10am - The introduction of Yuvraj Singh proves detrimental to the hosts as Bell flicks aerially through midwicket for four and Root late cuts another boundary.
9:58am - That's what we want to see from Root. Two boundaries come in a Bhuvneshwar over, the first cut between point and gully and the second via third man.
9:49am - In comes the seemingly unflappable Joe Root. He needs to show the calm that has been a hallmark of his short career to date.
9:37am - WICKET! Pietersen c Jadeja b Shami 6; Eng 64/2 - Putting the squeeze on has worked for India. After a lull in proceedings, Shami bangs one in, Pietersen top-edges a pull and Ravindra Jadeja takes a smart catch at deep midwicket.
9:26am - Pietersen shows a sign of class with a powerful off drive that goes to the boundary, albeit with the help of some dreadful Rohit Sharma fielding.
9:16am - Bell and Kevin Pietersen are playing sensibly now, aware that India's only chance is to make further inroads.
9:05am - WICKET! Cook b Sharma 22; Eng 53/1 - Having found another boundary via an edge through the cordon off Bhuvneshwar, Cook is bowled by Ishant in the next set of six. India needed that.
8:57am - More fine work from Bell, who confidently drives Ishant off the back foot for four having fortuitously edged to the boundary earlier in the over.
8:48am - Good first delivery from Ishant Sharma, who nips one back at Cook that beats the inside edge. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the bowler appealed vociferously for a caught-behind verdict but umpire Sudhir Asnani said no. It appears that was the right call, too. Cook then rubs salt into the wounds with a cut to the fence.
8:42am - Excellent stuff from England's openers now. Cook flicks four off his hip before driving another through cover and Bell guides Bhuvneshwar through the off side for four.
8:35am - It’s a case of the bad and the good from Bell in the last two overs. His first boundary comes via an ungainly inside edge through fine-leg followed by a second that is a glorious off-drive. He and Cook need to just see out the new balls.
8:26am - This is good work from India's opening bowlers, Bhuvneshwar and Shami Ahmed. They are sticking to tight lines and forcing false strokes from Cook and Ian Bell.
8:18am - Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowls the first over of the reply, sending down six good deliveries to Alastair Cook - one of which the opener edges through third man for four.
7:33am - END OF INNINGS - India 226 all out - After striking a couple more boundaries, Bhuvneshwar’s impressive cameo of 31 comes to an end as Finn takes an impressive catch off Bresnan diving forward at mid-off. Shami Ahmed, dropped by Patel in the previous over, is then caught and bowled to ensure Bresnan finishes with outstanding figures of 4-45. England will fancy chasing 227 given the good, fast surface and quick outfield.
7:19am - WICKET! Ashwin c Finn b Patel 19; Ind 211/8 - Well, that was an eventful Patel over. Bhuvneshwar and Ashwin respectively drive and sweep for four either side of the latter hitting a six - which Tredwell got a hand to - over long-on. Patel then gets Ashwin off the final delivery, caught by Finn following a top-edged slog-sweep.
7:14am - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has a first-class century to his name, shows some class by twice cutting Woakes long-hops to the point boundary.
7:01am - WICKET! Raina c Bell b Woakes 83; Ind 177/7 - I was just about to suggest Raina looked set to become the series' first centurion. It has not panned out that way given he has just tamely pulled a Woakes slower ball to Bell at midwicket. England are well on top now.
6:48am - WICKET! Jadeja c Bell b Tredwell 39; Ind 157/6 - England get a key breakthrough at a good time. Jadeja tries to hit Tredwell over long-on, but a leading edge falls tamely into the hands of Bell at point. England's off-spinner then completes an outstanding return of 10-1-25-2 with successive dot balls to Ravichandran Ashwin.
6:41am - DROPPED CHANCES! - Raina is given second and third lives. After his stand with Jadeja passes 50, he is shelled by a diving Cook and, two balls later, by Tredwell - who was trying to take a return catch.
6:36am - This is becoming a very useful partnership. These two are mixing good running with timely attacks, epitomised by Jadeja crashing Root for an enormous straight six.
6:23am - FIFTY! Raina (71b 5x4 2x6) - Raina continues his run of reaching 50 every time he has batted in the rubber by driving Root inside-out over cover for four. Time for a drink.
6:16am - Jadeja follows his partner's lead by greeting Samit Patel's introduction with a six in the same area.
6:05am - Amid Jadeja struggling at the other end, Raina hammers Root down the ground for a maximum. This has been a good innings from the left-hander, who is having a fine series.
5:56am - England are keeping the pressure on India here, with Joe Root finding Ravindra Jadeja's edge - only for the ball to evade slip and go for four. The off-spinner then sees an lbw appeal turned down by umpire Sudhir Asnani. That looked plumb, I must say.
5:41am - WICKET! Dhoni lbw Finn 15; Ind 79/5 - Excellent captaincy from Cook, who decides to bring back his spearhead. Having been crunched for four through cover by Dhoni in his first over back, Finn gains revenge by trapping India's skipper in front.
5:31am - Raina ends the lull in proceedings by trotting down the pitch and driving Tredwell down the ground for six. That was a cracking shot.
5:23am - Things have quietened a touch in Dharamsala as Dhoni and Raina understandably look to begin a rebuilding effort.
5:12am - Mahendra Singh Dhoni greets Bresnan with a powerful cover drive, but is then caused a few problems. This is a good contest, which will be briefly interrupted by a drinks break.
5:05am - You know how the cliche goes: England's bowlers would love to roll this pitch up and take it with them. Tredwell is now gaining considerable turn and bounce to cause further problems. I would call his introduction an inspired bowling change, but Cook initially wanted to bring back Bresnan, only to find he had been off the field too long. The bustling seamer is back at the other end now, though.
5:01am - WICKET! Gambhir c Bell b Tredwell 24; Ind 49/4 - You cannot keep Tredwell out of the game or, indeed, the series at the moment. The off-spinner strikes in his first over as Gambhir mis-times a cut and Ian Bell takes a good catch.
5am - That's a poor over from Woakes, who errs too straight, pitches too full and drops too short, allowing Raina to strike three boundaries.
4:51am - DROPPED CHANCE! - More fine work from England, who are really pressuring the hosts. Raina survives as Tredwell just fails to hang on to what would have been an outstanding one-handed catch off Woakes and Finn continues to cause Gambhir problems.
4:40am - Raina fails to make the most convincing start as he is hit first up by Finn, but looks more assured when clipping Woakes to the boundary in the following over.
4:33am - WICKET! Yuvraj c Morgan b Finn 0; Ind 23/3 - What do I know?! Alastair Cook sticks with Finn, who has looked threatening gaining extra bounce. Yuvraj attempts a whip through leg, but a leading edge comfortably carries to Eoin Morgan at backward point. Quite a start for England, who will fancy getting after Suresh Raina on this deck given his previous struggles against the short ball.
4:28am - That's a cracking response from Gambhir, who crunches Bresnan through cover before driving beautifully down the ground after Finn sends down a tight set of six. This could be a good chance to give Chris Woakes an early bowl given the swinging conditions.
4:19am - Ooh and that's a fine delivery that nips back at Yuvraj Singh, who blocks well. No hat-trick, but Bresnan has given England a dream start.
4:18am - WICKET! Kohli c Tredwell b Bresnan 0; Ind 13/2 - And now they have another. Two in two and Bresnan is on a hat-trick. Identical in so many ways; more away movement for the Yorkshireman, an expansive - and extremely loose - drive from Virat Kohli and Tredwell again hangs on, albeit after juggling the ball what seemed like a million times!
4:16am - WICKET! Sharma c Tredwell b Bresnan 4; Ind 13/1 - Well, what a stunning catch that is! Bresnan finds a little away movement, as he did in his first over, Rohit attempts an expansive drive and James Tredwell snaffles a difficult chance going to his right at second slip. Early wickets could well be crucial and England have one.
4:13am - India have begun solidly here, with Rohit Sharma finding his first boundary via a glorious cover drive off Tim Bresnan. Gambhir follows that up by cutting to the point fence off Finn.
4:04am - Steven Finn sends down the first over, which he starts with a wide before being clipped for four through leg by Gautam Gambhir. The seamer will be steaming in extra hard given temperatures are below 10 degrees.
3:59am - Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir are in the middle alongside the tourists' fielders and we're almost ready to go.
3:51am - England's decision to bowl seems justified by the pre-match talk that the pitch will aid quick bowlers. I can only imagine Steven Finn et al are licking their lips right now.
3:42am - All-rounder Woakes featured in the second one-day international, claiming 1-60 and being dismissed for a duck, but will be boosted by his call-up for the Test series against New Zealand.
3:30am - ENGLAND WIN TOSS & BOWL - Cook calls correctly at the toss and asks India to bat. The tourists make just one change, with Chris Woakes coming in for Jade Dernbach. India, meanwhile, pick the same XI that prevailed in Mohali.
3:17am - Those who have not seen it, by the way, should be aware Dharamsala could well be the world’s most picturesque cricket ground given the incredible views of the Himalayas in the background. Alastair Cook will hope those sights can inspire a victory that ensures England come away from the series losing 3-2 rather than 4-1.
3am - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live coverage of the fifth and final one-day international between India and England. The hosts have already wrapped up the series, yet there is plenty of intrigue in this encounter as Dharamsala stages international cricket for the first time.