Raina steers India to victory

2013-01-24 00:00

AN unbeaten 79-ball 89 from Suresh Raina led India to a five-wicket win over England in the fourth of five one-day internationals in Mohali yesterday, claiming the series with one match remaining.

Chasing a challenging total on a slow track, India quickly lost the wicket of out-of-sorts Gautam Gambhir.

This worked in their favour, as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli added 52 for the second wicket before the latter drove an easy return catch to James Tredwell in his first over.

Yuvraj Singh scratched around for 16 balls before Tredwell trapped him in front for three.

A quick 68 runs in less than nine overs between Raina and Sharma put the hosts back in control of the chase and kept them ahead of the asking rate.

Steven Finn got rid of Sharma (83) with the first delivery of his return spell, the ball cutting back and rapping the batsmen on his knee roll.

But, the Middlesex quickie received little support from the other seamers, and though Mahendra Singh Dhoni was sent packing by Jade Dernbach, Jadeja and Raina kept their cool and steered their team home with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, half-centuries from Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root boosted England to 257 for seven after they were inserted by India.

Losing opener Ian Bell early on, Cook and Pietersen built a solid platform of 95 runs before Cook was trapped by Ravichandran Ashwin for a patient 76.

Pietersen continued to fight as Eoin Morgan (three) and Samit Patel (one) were quick to follow Cook back to pavilion.

On a pitch that played progressively lower, Pietersen became more aggressive as Root joined him and the pair upped the rate to post 78 runs inside nine overs.

Ishant Sharma ended the profitable fifth-wicket stand by yorking Pietersen for 76 off 93 deliveries.

Jos Buttler and Tim Bresnan fell to Ravindra Jadeja in the 49th over as the spinner finished with a very credible 3-39 in his 10 overs.

Not fazed, Root continued to dominate and reached his maiden limited-overs half-century in the final over, skipping down the track to Shami Ahmed and pulling him for four. Root took Ahmed for another boundary to take his tally to 57 off only 45 balls.

With 100 runs coming off the final 10 overs, England had given themselves a good chance to defend their total and square the series. The final match will be in Dharamsala on Sunday.

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