India beat England by five wickets, clinch ODI series | india | Hindustan Times
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India beat England by five wickets, clinch ODI series

india Updated: Oct 21, 2011 03:42 IST
Nilankur Das

In the end, India needed seven off the last six. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wrapped it up with two consecutive boundaries. An unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series means India have taken a big step on their path to redemption, with the nightmares of drubbing for two-and-a-half months by the same opponents away from home pushed back to the sub-conscious. Even coach Duncan Fletcher failed to hide a smile.

India managed to successfully complete the second-highest chase at the PCA Stadium after Pakistan had chased down 341 against the hosts here in 2007.

Stand-in openers Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel gave India a decent start and when the Mumbaikar was batting with Gautam Gambhir the hosts were coasting towards the 299-run target. But three quick wickets in a span of five overs between the 34th and 39th overs pegged them back.

Rahane, foxed by a slower delivery from Steve Finn, missed his maiden one-day century and Suresh Raina went back without scoring after Kevin Pietersen spectacularly caught Gambhir to trigger the mini collapse. But Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, with some help from 'keeper Craig Kieswetter, who missed a crucial run out and a couple of catches earlier on, saw India through.

Dhoni had hit just three boundaries in his unbeaten 35, two off the last two balls. He knew he had to stay on till the end and kept dealing in singles. Jadeja managed to come up with crucial boundaries when needed the most and eased the pressure every time it mounted.

An ordinary day in office by the bowlers was brushed under the carpet by yet another stellar performance from the batsmen. After landing big blows in Delhi, both pacers Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav went for runs on Thursday, bowling on either side of the wicket. Praveen Kumar too was expensive in his second spell, his two overs costing 19 runs. But he came back well in the death to get his figures below six an over.

England's batting finally came good with the experienced Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen putting up a 101-run stand for the third wicket setting the visitors up for a big total.

Patel buoys England

An unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 103 off 71 balls between Trott and Samit Patel, who hit a 43-ball 70 with seven fours and two sixes, the second one off the final ball of the innings, ended the innings with some fireworks. Trott was stranded two short of what would have been his fourth one-day century.

Only the spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, seemed to have the batsmen in some discomfort. Jadeja was the most effective against Trott and Pietersen, more so against the latter with his known weakness against a left-arm spinner.

On Thursday, Pietersen was stuck at the crease playing five consecutive dot balls and went for a desperate single off the last. He made 64.