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Millennium Post

India clnch series with ease

Rohit Sharma finally fulfilled expectations of his class, and along with Suresh Raina secured India a 3-1 series win over England by clinching the fourth One-day International on Wednesday.

Rohit, asked to open in his first game of the series, struck a sublime 83 before Raina (89 not out) got the team past England’s 257 for seven in 47.3 overs with five wickets to spare at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Contributions from Captain Alastair Cook (76) and Kevin Pietersen (76) did not prove to be enough for the visitors, who have been outplayed in the series.

The series win was a welcome result for India, who were under pressure after losing to England in the Test matches, and to Pakistan in a short one-day series. The final game will be played at the picturesque town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

India experienced some nervous moments in the run-chase before getting over the line. The start was rather slow.Gautam Gambhir (10), in the company of his new partner Rohit, could not carry on for long as he was adjudged caught behind off Tim Bresnan, but he looked unhappy with the decision.

The Mumbai batsman hung on in conditions where runs were hard to come by. He and Virat Kohli (26) took the innings forward before Kohli became the victim of a soft dismissal, patting back to offie James Tredwell. Yuvraj Singh’s (3) wicket made it 90 for three in the 23rd over with the left-hander falling to Tredwell for the fourth time in as many games. The stylish batsman disappointed fans at his home ground by playing an ordinary sweep shot, trapping him plumb in front.

Raina then joined Rohit at the crease and the duo got the innings a much needed move on. It was pleasant to see Rohit doing justice to his talent. His knock saw elegant drives to go with his pull and cut shots. Raina was at his belligerent best. Rohit was adjudged leg before off Finn, leaving India at 158 for four with another 100 runs needed for the victory. At this juncture, Raina’s back would have sent panic in the dressing room but he was handed a reprieve after getting caught at first slip. Finn came to his rescue by hitting the stumps on the delivery stride with umpire calling it a dead ball.


DHONI LAVISHES PRAISE ON SHARMA

Indian captain MS Dhoni praised Rohit Sharma for his contribution in India’s comprehensive five-wicket victory over England in the fourth ODI and described him as the ‘most god-gifted talent around.’ ‘I am glad he (Rohit) scored runs because he is one of the most god-gifted talent that is around. Of course an innings like this was very much needed for him. Personally I am very happy for him. We all felt he is someone who can be a really good opener in the sense he cuts and pulls really well. Also with two openers you want one of them to be slightly aggressive than the other. I think he accepted the challenge in the sense he also felt he got into the side because Manoj was unfit. So it was an opportunity for him. The good thing was he took it as a challenge,’ Dhoni said.
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