India beat England by 6 wickets, take 4-0 lead in ODI

Mumbai: India rode on stroke-filled half centuries from Suresh Raina (80) and Virat Kohli (86) as they recovered from an early jolt to post a comfortable six-wicket victory over England and take 4-0 lead in the five-match ODI series here today. Chasing England`s modest total of 220 all out, Kohli and Raina combined well to put on a match-winning partnership of 131 in 113 balls to help India overhaul the target with 9.5 overs to spare at the Wankhede Stadium here.

Returning to the Wankhede Stadium, the scene of their famous triumph in the World Cup final on April 2, Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men first put England on the mat with a clinically efficient bowling display after the visitors had gone off to a flying start of 39 in six overs. The modest target set by England, who were dismissed in only 46.1 overs, was not stiff enough to test the batting strength of the home team who wobbled at 21 for 2 and then 46 for 3 before Raina and Kohli took the game away from the tourists.

Raina, who hit his 19th half ton in 129 games, departed at 171 but skipper Dhoni (15 not out) was cool as ever in the company of Kohli, who struck his 18th fifty in 68 ODIs, as the fifth wicket duo stitched an unconquered stand of 52 runs to pull India past the finish line in 40.1 overs. The home team, thus, kept themselves in the hunt for a 5-0 clean sweep in the series with the final ODI scheduled at Kolkata on October 25.

It was, incidentally, the first-ever ODI victory for the hosts at this venue against England following defeats in the 1987 World Cup semi final and the 2001-02 bilateral series encounter. Earlier, India dismissed England for a modest total 220 in 46.1 overs after the visiting team had started in a bright fashion after opting to bat first on a slow surface.