India Clinch Series Over Sloppy England
India 300-5 (Rahane 91, Gambhir 58) beat
England 298-4 (Trott 98no) by five wickets
Third One-Day International, Mohali
Mahendra Singh Dhoni calmly guided India to a five-wicket win over England in the third One-Day International in Mohali to move into an unassailable 3-0 series lead.
With seven needed from the final over chasing a testing target of 299, Dhoni hit Tim Bresnan for two fours from the first two balls to hand India the series and condemn England to a third straight defeat.
Jonathan Trott's 98 not out as well as half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen (64) and Samit Patel (70 not out) had stood England in good steed as they hit 298 for four but India, thanks to 91 from Ajinkya Rahane and 58 from Gautam Gambhir, themselves into a position from which they could win the match.
England hit back with a brace of wickets from Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan - before an unbroken half-century partnership between Dhoni, unbeaten on 35, and Ravi Jadeja, on 26, broke England hearts.
The tourists missed three golden opportunities to increase the pressure on India and all three fell to wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter.
He dropped Gambhir off Patel and missed Kohli off Jade Dernbach and then trod on the stumps to miss running out Jadeja in the penultimate over.
Finn aside, England were well below standard with the ball and from a position of needing 30 to win in 18 balls, India were able to get the target down to just over a run a ball thanks as much to Dhoni and Jadeja's efforts as Finn and Dernbach delivering poor 48th and 49th overs - the latter bowling a wide and a no ball as he failed to land his slower balls.
Finn was otherwise excellent, returning two for 44 as he had Rahane caught by Cook and Gambhir well caught by Pietersen to launch England's fightback.
They started poorly with the ball, allowing openers Parthiv Patel (38) and Rahane to put on 79 for the first wicket before Patel was - perhaps a touch unluckily - adjudged leg before to Bresnan.
Rahane and Gambhir added 111 for the second wicket and India were in complete control before a flurry of wickets - Suresh Raina (0) and Virat Kohli (35) also falling during a fascinating period of play.
However, England were given further chances and failed to take them, allowing Dhoni and Jadeja free rein to finish the game off.
Earlier, Trott anchored the innings with 98 in 116 balls, allowing Patel, who faced just 43 deliveries and Pietersen, who faced 61, to bat aggressively around him.
Kieswetter made a breezy 36 in 38 at the top of the order, hitting three fours and two sixes after Cook fell early, trapped in front by Ranganath Vinay Kumar for three.
Trott added 101 with Pietersen and then with Patel, added 91 in the final ten overs as England learnt from the defeat in Delhi to build partnerships.
After Ravi Bopara fell for 24, Patel monstered the Indian bowling, smashing seven fours and two sixes but although one lesson from Delhi was learned by England, they failed to take on board one of the others - a most basic tenets of the game - catches win matches.
The fourth game is in Mumbai on 23rd October.
© Cricket World 2011