Mohali, Jan 23: Rohit Sharma (83) came out of a prolonged form slump to slam his 13th half century and Suresh Raina (89 not out) hit his third successive fifty to steer India to a series clinching five-wicket victory over England in the fourth One Day International here on Wednesday night.
India, now have an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series with the final ODI to be played in Dharamsala on January 27, Sunday. The success in Mohali gave India hat-trick of wins after losing the opening ODI by 9 runs in Rajkot.
Chasing 258, India won in the 48th over. The victory also ensured that India stayed as number one ODI side in ICC rankings. India had reclaimed the top spot after winning the third ODI in Ranchi on January 19.
With this triumph, MS Dhoni has now overtaken Sourav Ganguly as second most India's successful captain with 77 ODI wins. The leader is Mohammad Azharuddin with 90.
Rohit, who replaced his Mumbai team-mate Ajinkya Rahane and under immense pressure to deliver, struck a fine knock of 83 as an opener. He was well poised to score his third ODI century when umpire Steve Davis sent him back to the pavilion by erring in LBW verdict.
The right-handed Rohit, who's last 6 ODI innings before today were all in single digits 5, 0, 0, 4, 4 and 4, showed glimpses of his talent. Rohit struck a half century for the first time after 16 matches.
It was so pleasing to watch Rohit's collection of shots during his stay at the wicket. Blessed with ample amount of time to play his shots, the youngster displayed his best. But again, one wonders why he does not play like this consistently.
Rohit, during his knock, completed 2,000 ODI runs in his 87th match. He hit 11 fours and one six in his 93-ball knock.
On 12, Rohit was dropped by Kevin Pietersen at mid-off. It was tough chance and the England fielder could not hold onto the catch.
It was also a day when Raina showed why he is one of the most reliable middle order batsmen for India. The left-hander went to his third successive half ton of the series and 27th overall in ODIs.
Raina, first in the company of Rohit and then with captain MS Dhoni (19), was involved in two half century partnerships which paved the way for victory.
Raina was lucky on 41 when Steven Finn's right knee hit the stumps in delivery stride and umpire Davis signalled dead ball even as the left-hander had edged the delivery to Alastair Cook in slips and England players started celebrating. Finn has the habit of knocking the stumps with his knee in his bowling.
Rohit too was in 50-run association with two players. First with Virat Kohli (26) and then Raina.
Gautam Gambhir (10) was wrongly adjudged caught behind by umpire Sudhir Asnani and the opener was shocked to see the Indian raising his finger.
In a game where umpires had three wrong decisions, India were recipient of two (Gambhir and Rohit) while England had Cook's LBW.
Yuvraj Singh (3) fell to offspinner James Tredwell for the fourth successive time this series. He was out LBW in front of his home crowd.
England score 257/7 in 50 overs
England skipper Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root helped the team post a challenging total of 257/7 after losing wickets in quick succession in the fourth ODI against India at Mohali on Wednesday. India need 258 to win and wrap the series.
Three half centuries from England batsmen ensured that they posted a challenging total as Cook anchored the innings with a fine 76, recording his 15th ODI fifty as the visitors played cautiously especially after losing Ian Bell for 10 in the 10th over.
Pietersen, who was struggling to score runs, notched his 24th ODI fifty off 84 balls, his slowest ODI fifty till date at a strike-rate of 60.71. His 93-ball 76 included 7 boundaries and a six.
Cook added 95 runs for the 2nd wicket with Pietersen before being dismissed by R Ashwin for 76 in the 32nd over.
After the fall of Cook, Pietersen was involved in yet another partnership with Root for the 5th wicket as they added 68 runs that helped the visitors to post a decent total.
Root was dropped by Kohli on 0 and Raina on 42, as he made an unbeaten 57 off 45 balls which could be the turning point of the match.
England were 97/1 after 25 overs, Pietersen and Root ensured that the team had a fine finish with 96 runs in the last 9 overs.
Playing on a pitch that assisted seamers, England were careful as they did not risk themselves but lost a couple of wickets when Dhoni introduced spinners into the attack.
Ravindra Jadeja (3/39) and Ishant Sharma (2/47) claimed 5 wickets together to dismiss Pietersen (76), Bell, Jos Buttler (14), Tim Bresnan (0) and Samit Patel (1).
Bowling at death still a worry for MS Dhoni's men, as they leaked 96 runs off the last 9 overs.
Team India elected to bowl first against England after winning the toss in the fourth ODI at Mohali on Wednesday.
Since India has taken a 2-1 lead in the series, the hosts will look forward to seal the series with a win at Mohali while England will try to win and stay afloat in the series.
India made one change as Rohit Sharma replaced struggling Ajinkya Rahane.
England also made one change. With Craig Kieswetter not performing well, Jos Buttler replaces him in the playing XI. Though Steven Finn injured his finger during the practice session ahead of the fourth ODI, the seamer is playing today.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed, Rohit Sharma.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Samit Patel, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Tim Bresnan
Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia) and Sudhir Asnani
Third umpire: C Shamsuddin
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)