England clinch one-day series with India after tie at Lord's
|Fourth one-day international, Lord's:|
|England 270-8 (48.5 overs) tie with India 280-5 (50 overs) (D/L method)|
England clinched the one-day series against India as a gripping fourth game ended in a rain-affected tie in a confusing finale at Lord's.
The tourists seemed set to secure their first win over England this summer after posting a challenging 280-5.
Ravi Bopara scored a magnificent 96 to guide England to the brink of victory.
But with the rain falling and England needing 11 to win from seven balls under the Duckworth/Lewis method, a third downpour ended the match.
Both teams were guilty of using delaying tactics as a confusing final few overs saw both sides in pole position at different points.
England were ahead of the required rate going into the penultimate over but Graeme Swann was run out by Munaf Patel and the same player had Bopara caught on the boundary before the rain fell again and the umpires brought the players off the pitch.
There then followed a delay before the match was finally declared a tie.
And although the result was a probably a fair one, it was a shame such an entertaining encounter should end in such comical circumstances.
Despite missing out on a century, Bopara's brilliance ensures England head into Friday's final match in Wales with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The tourists have suffered a miserable summer, coming second best in all forms of the game, but they showed commendable fighting spirit after being put in on a bowler-friendly surface.
The tourists, no doubt mindful of their poor starts to the third one-day international at The Oval, began cautiously on a green pitch.
Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel barely played an attacking shot in the opening seven overs but accelerated in spectacular fashion with Patel pulling James Anderson for six.
A combination of fine attacking strokes and unlucky bowling - particularly from Steven Finn who was recalled for Jade Dernbach - put the tourists in a strong position.
Stuart Broad made the breakthrough with a full delivery that trapped Rahane lbw and the Nottinghamshire paceman followed that up in his next over by having Patel sky a catch to Bopara.
Not to be outdone, Broad's county colleague Swann was soon in on the act, taking two wickets in his first over.
First Swann outfoxed Virat Kohli, who edged behind to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, and then he took a smart caught and bowled to get rid of Rahul Dravid.
Swann's miserly bowling (2-8 in four overs) put the game firmly back in England's favour and after 33 overs India had only reached 128-4.
But Mahendra Dhoni (78 not out) and Suresh Raina (84) did not panic and rebuilt the innings steadily.
Skipper Dhoni laid the platform, curbing his attacking instincts and allowing Raina to play the more fluent knock, before they both cut loose in the final 10 overs, bludgeoning the ball to all parts in scoring 109.
Dhoni demonstrated his class with a second successive half-century, hitting three sixes - the highlight of which was clubbing Swann for a huge maximum over midwicket.
Raina smashed a massive six off Broad as all the bowlers took some serious punishment in an entertaining spell that saw the pair post the best fifth-wicket stand for India against England in one-day internationals.
Broad's stint ended in doubly painful circumstances, as he was unable to complete the final over after pulling up with an injury to his right arm.
England's response started badly, with Kieswetter and Cook both falling to RP Singh.
Jonathan Trott soon followed, playing on to Praveen Kumar as he looked to up the run rate on the powerplay, but Ian Bell and Bopara set about rebuilding the innings.
Bell's knock ended when a rare, rash shot saw him attempt to loft Ravindra Jadeja towards long off and he was well caught.
Ben Stokes quickly followed Bell back to the pavilion but Tim Bresnan's fine 27 from 22 balls gave England renewed hope.
Then the rain - or the threat of it - took over.
With the clouds gathering England did their best to get ahead of the required rate and Bopara, helped by a timely Swann cameo, did a wonderful job of doing so before that crazy 49th over which saw India claim two wickets.
The tourists thought they had done enough to win but eventually found out they had fallen just short and now go to Wales knowing they are just playing for pride.