MOHALI (TIP): As Virat Kohli had promised before the match, the Indian team didn’t leave anything to chance and sealed the one-day series right here with a comprehensive five-wicket win over England. With this win, India have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, with one match still to play. It was apt that Ravindra Jadeja hit the winning runs on Wednesday, since his allround show throughout the series has helped the team at crucial junctures. India’s 258-run chase was powered by an unbeaten 89 (79 balls; 9×4, 1×6) from Suresh Raina, who was given the Man of the Match award.
Raina was involved in two fifty-run partnerships, one each with Rohit Sharma (83; 93b, 11×4, 1×6) – playing a new role as opener – and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The series win will come as some relief for India in home conditions after they lost the Test series to England and an ODI series to Pakistan. India’s chase, though, was far from ideal. In the second erroneous decision of the day, umpire Steve Davis gave Gautam Gambhir out caught behind even though there was a clear gap between bat and ball. England could have had Rohit Sharma too, but Kevin Pietersen couldn’t latch on to a difficult chance at mid-off in the eighth over.
Virat Kohli (26), after a 52-run partnership with Rohit Sharma, got out tamely, offering a return catch to James Tredwell. The English off-spinner made it four out of four against Yuvraj Singh, having accounted for him in the previous three games too, by trapping the southpaw leg before. At the other end, Rohit Sharma not only completed 2000 one-day runs but went on to score his 13th half-century. Sharma (83) was unlucky to miss out on a century, courtesy a second contentious decision by umpire Steve Davis, who adjudged him LBW though the ball appeared to be missing leg stump. Earlier, Dhoni made sure that his fast bowlers got the best use of a fresh wicket by winning the toss and electing to field. Cook hit Shami Ahmed for three boundaries in the sixth over to break the shackles, but the mounting pressure soon resulted in the wicket of Ian Bell (10), who tried to give Ishant Sharma the charge but only managed to give a skier to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at third man.
After that Kevin Pietersen and Cook resurrected the England innings, adding 95 runs for the second wicket. Cook brought up his fifty in the 22nd over and went on to score 76 (106 balls; 13×4) but umpire Sudhir Asnani’s error of judgment ended the English skipper’s promising innings. Cook was wrapped on the pads by a quicker delivery from R Ashwin, but the ball had clearly pitched outside leg stump. England slumped to 142/4 by the 37th over but Joe Root, along with Kevin Pietersen, forged a partnership of 78 runs off 56 balls. KP, who had been unusually quiet, suddenly broke loose, hitting Ishant Sharma for 4, 4, and 6 in the 46th over before Ishant uprooted his stumps with a yorker. Root’s unbeaten 57 (45 balls; 8×4, 1×6) gave England the final impetus, but it was not enough.
ICC ODI Championship
South Africa 111
Sri Lanka 110
West Indies 88
New Zealand 80