New Delhi: Two innings of great skill by two men at contrasting stages in their careers and a close finish with a win for the home side lit up a typically cold day in New Delhi when England took on Delhi at Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium on Tuesday (January 8). The end result was a six-wicket win for Delhi and that, combined with Ian Bell's brilliance in the first half and Shikhar Dhawan's response in the second, gave good cheer to the sparse crowd that had turned up.
Bell led the way for England with 108 in 125 balls, and Dhawan, the Delhi captain, responded in kind with 110 in 109 before Rajat Bhatia, 33 years of age, and Milind Kumar, young at 21, combined in an unbeaten 103-run stand in just 72 balls to chase down England's 294 for five with 1.3 overs to spare.
For Bell, the innings confirmed his growing stature in the one-day format and ensured that, for all intents and purposes, he would open England's batting with Alastair Cook when the series against India begins, with Kevin Pietersen likely to come in at No. 3. For Dhawan, the innings was even more important, coming as it did against an international attack during a particularly successful domestic season, with the top-order of the national team looking for options.