India take series at Mohali
India beat England by 5 wickets in the 4th ODI at Mohali to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the 5 match series.
Having been put into bat first, England saw Ian Bell (10) trot off after a sedate start. Bhuvneshwar Kumar put in another solid start for India, bowling his overs out unchanged for figures of 0/30. Alastair Cook (76, 106b, 13x4) and Kevin Pietersen (76, 93b, 7x4, 1x6) added 95 for the second wicket before a combination of poor umpiring and poorer batting saw England slide from 132/1 to 142/4. Pietersen hung on, playing a very cautious innings, taking 84b to get to his 50 having taken 13 to get off the mark.
Joe Root and Pietersen added 78 for the 5th wicket, the latter being dismissed by a timely yorker from Ishant Sharma just when he threatened to explode. Root provided England a great finish, scoring 57* (45b, 8x4, 1x6) with his innovations to counter Ishant Sharma (2/47). Ravindra Jadeja had a decent outing, taking 3/39 which included two crucial wickets during the slog overs. India still conceded 100 runs off the last 10 overs as England posted 257/7 in their 50 overs.
Rohit Sharma had replaced the underperforming Ajinkya Rahane as the opener for this match but a poor decision from umpire Steve Davis meant it was Gautam Gambhir’s (10) turn to come up short today. Virat Kohli (26) and Rohit Sharma rebuilt in a 2nd wicket partnership of 52 runs.
The partnership had its jittery moments, Sharma being dropped by Pietersen when on 12 and a top edge from Kohli that went high but fortunately landed safely away from the nearest fielder when he was on just 2. James Tredwell’s introduction though saw Kohli (26, 33b, 3x4) playing tentatively and he perished with a tame return catch. A few overs later Tredwell got Yuvraj Singh (3) for the fourth time in the series, this time LBW while attempting a sweep. India were 90/3 in the 23rd over at the point.
Sharma had a total of 85 runs from his last 7 ODI innings combined. He made amends today, digging down to reach his fifty (off 73b) and then accelerating. Suresh Raina has been in form and took little time to get going. The two added 68 for the fourth wicket in just 51 balls attacking the English spinners Tredwell and Patel. Finn was brought back and he removed Rohit (83, 93b, 11x4, 1x6) immediately.
Still a hundred short of the target, India were not yet safe.
Dhoni hit the first ball he faced for four and allayed fears with Raina in a run a ball partnership of 55. Raina was on 41 when he nicked one straight to Cook at first slip only for the umpire to call it a dead ball, Finn having kicked the bails at the bowler’s end in his delivery stride.
Raina pushed on, bringing up his half century off 46b and was especially hard on Bresnan. Dernbach’s reintroduction saw Dhoni (19, 21b) getting out with 45 runs still needed. Jadeja played a reassuring hand though, rotating the strike while Raina blasted India towards the total at the other end as the duo added an unbeaten 45 off 50b for the sixth wicket.
Jadeja hit the winning runs, finishing on 21* (27b, 2x4) while Man of the Match Raina finished on 89* (79b, 9x4, 1x6).
The win meant India had their fourth consecutive home ODI series win against England. The fifth and final match of the series will be played at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on January 27th.