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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
India beat England to seal series
Fourth one-day international, Cochin: India 238-6 (47.2 overs) beat England 237 (48.4 overs) by four wickets

Yuvraj celebrates with team-mates
Yuvraj Singh took two wickets and hit 48
India beat England by four wickets in the fourth one-day match in Cochin to win the series with three games left.

Chasing just 238, captain Rahul Dravid hit 65, putting on 76 with Irfan Pathan (46) for the second wicket.

Yuvraj Singh, who took two wickets, hit 48, putting on 72 in 14 overs with Suresh Raina, and India completed victory with 16 balls left.

England were bowled out for the fourth time this series, with eight balls to spare, despite Kevin Pietersen's 77.

It was the ninth defeat in the last 11 one-day matches for an England side missing six first-choice players, and India's eighth successive victory.

After opting to bat first in fearsome heat, the tourists were 27-2 in the third over of the morning.

Pietersen shared stands of 90 in 15 overs for the third wicket with Paul Collingwood (36) and of 36 in seven overs with Flintoff.

You've got to score big totals against India with the strength in their batting
Andrew Flintoff

But at a venue where the average score is 271, and where India have lost just one of four matches, they limped through the later overs.

Six wickets fell to spinners, with part-timers Singh and Virender Sehwag taking two each.

Geraint Jones limped literally after injuring his thigh during a rearguard innings of 49, with a runner required for much of it.

Matt Prior stood in, keeping wicket for England for the first time and affected the neat stumping of Irfan Pathan, who was looking to slog a second six off Ian Blackwell.

India were already half-way to their target by then, though.

Matthew Hoggard - playing his first ODI for 14 months - saw his first three overs go for 26 as the hosts started strongly and his nine overs in all cost 59.

After a stand of 54 in 10 overs, Sehwag slapped a long hop from spinner Blackwell to midwicket in the spinner's first over.

England imposed some pressure with the field spread but were looking increasingly desperate as Pathan and Dravid shared a confident partnership.

The gamble of a second powerplay brought three wickets in the next four.

A tired Dravid lofted Flintoff to mid-off, Pathan was stumped and Mohammad Kaif was caught by a leaping Anderson at cover.

But Yuvraj and Raina settled into their second big partnership of the series and by the time James Anderson dismissed both men in the 44th over just 14 more were needed.

Yuvraj was named man of the match for the second time this week, gaining his second motorbike as a prize.

Were it not for the application showed by Pietersen, promoted up the order despite having missed Monday's defeat with a stomach upset, the loss could have been much heavier.

Both Andrew Strauss and Prior failed to deal with early swing.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen lifted England after two early wickets

Pietersen - who replaced Owais Shah in the side - followed Prior's dismissal with three boundaries off the following over from Pathan, then hooked Sri Sreesanth for six.

It took a piece of individual brilliance by bowler Yuvraj, diving back to his left and taking a low catch one-handed, to dismiss Collingwood and break the fourth-wicket.

Only when Pietersen went on the attack, taking 10 off two balls from Sehwag, was Dravid's forced in introduce the second powerplay and bring his fielders in.

But the move looked like a work of genius as a tired Pietersen top-edged Harbhajan's third ball back in the attack to midwicket.

In the next over Flintoff mistimed a drive off Yuvraj that Dravid took low at mid-on.

England could still easily have passed 250 from that point, but the inexperienced lower order again caved in.

Vikram Solanki was bowled through the gate by Ramesh Powar and Sehwag picked up the wickets of Blackwell and Gareth Batty.

The run outs of Hoggard and Jones with eight balls remaining left them woefully short.

Interview: England batsman Kevin Pietersen

England in India 2006
08 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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