England posts 3-wicket win over India in 3rd ODI
Craig Kieswetter scored 51 as England extended India's miserable summer with a three-wicket win with seven balls remaining in the third one-day international at The Oval on Friday.
The victory gave England a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and increased the chances of the hosts claiming an all-format whitewash over India, after a 4-0 win in the test series and a Twenty20 victory before the one-day matches.
"It's always nervy when you're sitting watching and can't do anything about it," said England captain Alastair Cook. "But it was pleasing the way we handled that pressure towards the end."
After being put into bat by England, Ravindra Jadeja hit 78 and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni got 69 as India posted 234-7.
Chasing a revised target of 218 from 43 overs following a rain delay of about 30 minutes, England made a bright start through Cook (23) and Kieswetter but struggled to get over the line with Ravi Bopara's middle-order 40 proving crucial. Graeme Swann hit the winning runs.
"I thought Ravi played very well in a great little partnership with Bresy [Tim Bresnan] that saw us pretty much there, but it was nerve-racking," said Cook.
England seemed to have India on the rack at the start on a greenish pitch at The Oval, with James Anderson striking after just four balls and having a hand in the first four wickets.
The right-arm paceman had Ajinkya Rahane (0) caught at slip by Jonathan Trott, ran out Rahul Dravid (2) with a direct hit on the stumps from mid-off, bowled Parthiv Patel (3) and had Virat Kohli (7) caught behind by Kieswetter as India slumped to 25-4.
India captain Dhoni began a fightback with 69 from 103 balls and his century partnership in the middle order with allrounder Jadeja pushed the innings into respectable territory.
Jadeja, who flew in just two days ago as an injury replacement, hit 10 fours in his 89-ball knock and Ravichandran Ashwin played an entertaining cameo with 36 from 19 balls.
"A lot of credit to the way Jadeja and Dhoni played," Cook said. "They got a really competitive total, but we're delighted the way we chased it down."
Kieswetter and Cook shared an opening stand of 63 but when Cook was trapped lbw by Munaf Patel, England wobbled.
Kieswetter and Trott (11) were out in successive overs and the spin bowling of Jadeja and Ashwin kept wickets falling.
Bopara steadied the innings with a 50-run partnership alongside Tim Bresnan, who made 28 before Jadeja knocked over his middle wicket.
Bopara became Ashwin's third victim soon after, but Swann (9 not out) finally killed the game off with nine runs from four balls.
"We have been outplayed and haven't had the luck at times, but the morale is quite good," said Dhoni. "It is important not to get depressed."
This latest win for England followed a rained-off first match and a seven-wicket victory on Tuesday.