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India edge out England in one-day thriller

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed two fours in the final over as India beat England by five wickets on Thursday to take a decisive 3-0 lead in the five-match one-day series.

Young batsman Ajinkya Rahane top-scored with 91 and Gautam Gambhir hit 58 as the world champions surpassed England's challenging 298-4 with four balls to spare in a thrilling day-night match.

AFP PIC

India were struggling at 235-5 in the 42nd over before Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja steered the hosts home with an unbeaten 65-run stand for the sixth wicket.

With 17 needed off the last two overs, the pair took 10 runs in the 49th bowled by Jade Dernbach, before Dhoni smashed the first two balls of the final over from Tim Bresnan for boundaries to clinch victory.

Dhoni returned unbeaten on 35 and Jadeja was on 26 as the new-look Indians, without seven players who won the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in April, took the series.

The tourists, who were thrashed by 126 runs and eight wickets in the previous two games, needed a win to stay afloat in the series.

England began well as an unbeaten 98 from Jonathan Trott inspired a batting revival that helped them post 298-4.

Samit Patel pounded an unbeaten 70 off 43 balls and Kevin Pietersen scored 64 as England's batting finally came good after skipper Alastair Cook won the toss.

When India batted, Rahane put on 79 for the first wicket with Parthiv Patel and 111 for the second with Gambhir to lift India to a comfortable 190-1 by the 34th over.

England hit back with four wickets for 45 runs as fast bowler Steven Finn removed Gambhir and Rahane, Bresnan dismissed Suresh Raina for zero and Graeme Swann trapped Virat Kohli leg-before for 35.

But Dhoni and Jadeja turned the game around with a match-winning stand in front of 25,000 excited home fans.

"We back ourselves to chase whatever the opposition scored and we have been doing that for the past few years," said the Indian captain.

"The top order did the job for us. The dew was a factor because the ball started to come nicely on to the bat in the evening. The way Rahane batted with Gambhir was crucial.

"We lost wickets at the wrong time though and needed to get another partnership going. It was good that Jadeja and myself got it."

Cook was distraught at another loss.

"It's a tough defeat to take, especially when it was so close," the England captain said. "Our fielding has been slightly below par, which is unusual for us, and today it cost us 20 to 25 runs in the field.

"Six an over was always a tough chase, but credit to the way MS (Dhoni) and Jadeja finished it off."

The fourth one-dayer will be played in Mumbai on Sunday before the final game in Kolkata on October 25.

England will end the tour with a one-off Twenty20 international in Kolkata on Oct 29.

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