Bowled Over – India take Series Win – By Luqman Liaqat

India clinched the one-day international series 3-1 against England after cruising to a five-wicket victory in the fourth match at a chilly Mohali.

Skipper Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen both scored 76 runs for the three lions as they improved from their previous two batting efforts by posting a fighting total of 257-7.

India were only troubled occasionally in response, Suresh Raina hit an unbeaten 89 and Rohit Sharma scored 83 to guide them home by chasing down a target of 258 with 15 balls to spare.

After losing Ian Bell for ten, Cook and Pietersen shared a stand of 98 for the 3rd wicket to rebuild the innings. Cook reached his half century off 75 balls which included nine boundaries. After sweeping Ravi Ashwin past short fine leg for four he was wrapped on the pads for an lbw dismissal next ball.

Soon England were in bother, after the skipper’s wicket two more batsmen followed him back to the pavilion. Eoin Morgan (3) and Samit Patel (1) fell to the spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja respectively.

Once Joe Root was dropped at slip by Virat Kohli, he and Pietersen made good use of the let off hitting a partnership of 78 taking the tourists past 220.

The feature of Pietersen’s innings was a booming maximum over deep midwicket from Ishant Sharma’s length delivery. He departed for 76 getting a ripping yorker off Ishant in the next over.

Root’s quick fire 57 not out off 45 balls upped the tempo taking the total beyond 250 as England scored 100 runs from the last ten overs.

The Indian run chase began with some difficulty; Tim Bresnan removed Ghautam Ghambhir in the 5th over.

Kohli’s contribution with Sharma was shorted lived as he was out caught and bowled for 26 off James Tredwell who also dismissed Yuvraj Singh a few overs later.

Sharma now had a new partner at the crease in Suresh Raina and the pair took the score from 90-3 to 158-4, Rohit played a host of delightful fours and scored ten runs in the 24th over facing Tredwell hit the spinner down the ground for a six and swept for a boundary.

Eventually, Steve Finn trapped him lbw for 83 off 93 balls ending the fourth wicket partnership worth 68 runs.

Still needing 100 runs to win, Raina then took control of the innings, although he looked to have lost his wicket when he was caught at slip by Cook, only for umpire Steve Davis to save him signalling a dead ball after Finn knocked the stumps with his knee whilst running to bowl.

Jade Dernbach removed the Indian skipper MS Dhoni for 19, Rain continued alongside Jadeja as the latter scored an unbeaten 45 run partnership in 8.2 overs.

Raina capitalised clinically on the earlier dead ball incident regarding Finn hitting a high-class unbeaten innings of 89 from 79 balls featuring nine boundaries and one six.

Bresnan took most of the punishment; the left arm batsmen cleared a length ball over the infield with ease in an over that was worth 11 runs.

England’s luck wasn’t out completely, however India were too good for them on their own conditions to clinch their fourth consecutive home series win over the three lions.

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