India ease to victory

Hometown hero Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the winning runs on Ranchi's big day as England's batsmen floundered for the second time in a week against India.

The unfashionable cricketing outpost was hosting its first-ever international fixture - the third one-dayer in a five-match series - and 39,000 fans saw the local boy pull Steven Finn for four to ensure a fairytale seven-wicket win.

Dhoni's arrival at the crease came late in the game and his most telling contribution came when he won the toss and asked England to bat first, a decision that found the tourists in dire form as they slumped to 155 all out.

That was three fewer than they managed in defeat at Kochi and was never likely to be enough as Virat Kohli made a commanding 77 not out in a chase that lasted 28.1 overs.

With such a small total, it was all or nothing for England in the field and Finn got them going with a wicket in his second over, beating Ajinkya Rahane for pace and uprooting his off stump. A strong lbw shout against Kohli off the next ball followed but umpire Sundaram Ravi was unmoved.

Runs were precious for England so when Kohli hit three consecutive boundaries off Jade Dernbach in the sixth over, it was a hammer blow. Tim Bresnan replaced Dernbach and saw his first ball stroked through the covers by Kohli, as the total reached 48 for one after 10 overs.

A second wicket followed in the 18th over, the increasingly reliable James Tredwell having Gautam Gambhir caught at mid-on for 33 with his ninth ball. Yet India were in no danger, Kohli ramming home the point when he thrashed Bresnan for his eighth four.

Yuvraj Singh had freedom to play his shots and zeroed in on Dernbach, whose second spell of two overs cost 25. Tredwell eventually bowled Yuvraj for 30 to give the home fans exactly what they wanted - Dhoni in the middle and just 12 needed. He was off the mark with a straight four and then took on Finn's bouncer for the winning boundary.

Earlier in the day, England's innings got off to a faltering start and never fully recovered. Bhuvneshar Kumar and Shami Ahmed bowled with good control to restrict the score to 36 in the 10-over powerplay, with the latter adding the scalp of captain Alastair Cook (17) for good measure.

Joe Root (39) top-scored for England, with Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan both contributing 25. However, India always looked in control - Ravindra Jadeja claiming three for 19.

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