Alastair Cook made a compelling case for his inclusion in t20 cricket with a match-winning knock at the Rose Bowl as England beat India by seven wickets.
The England one-day skipper, who is not considered for t20 games, made 80 not out in a one-day international that was reduced to 23 overs per side after autumn arrived early on the south coast.
Another monumental effort by Nigel Gray and his ground staff got the venue ready for play some five hours after the scheduled start.
But it was well worth waiting for as Cook showed some of the attacking instincts that he does not normally display while Craig Kieswetter (46) carved the India attack apart at the top of the England reply.
Chasing India’s 187 for eight, the opening duo provided the impresssive platform racing to 67 without loss inside seven overs before Kieswetter was trapped lbw.
But Ian Bell (25) and Ravi Bopara (24) added useful runs, while Cook motored along at the other end - even crashing a rare six over mid-wicket as England eventually cruised home with five balls to spare.
India’s innings got off to an absolute flyer as opener Parthiv Patel made a blistering 28 from 18 balls to set the tone amid a boisterous atmosphere.
Tim Bresnan (three for 43) came in for some major stick before Ajinka Rahane (54) and Rahul Dravid (32) continued the momentum, while Jimmy Anderson (one for 11) attempted to apply the brakes.
But Graeme Swann (three for 33) again underlined his worth to the side, while England turned in a tremendous display in the field - with Bell leading the way.
Bell pouched three catches as India went for big shots, while Swann and Ben Stokes also showed excellent hands.
But Suresh Raina’s entertaining 40 from just 19 balls ensured India posted a competitive total for England to chase.