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Rohit, Raina fashion India's series win

Mohali, Jan 23 (IANS) 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 here 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 here.

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 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.

It was a smooth run from there on even though skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19) failed to last the distance this time around. Raina and Ravindra Jadeja (21) carried the team through.

Earlier, England smashed 100 runs off the last 10 overs to post a fighting total. Joe Root did most of the damage towards the end, hammering an unbeaten 57 off 45 balls.

Cook and Pietersen shared 95 runs for the second wicket.

Indo Asian News Service

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