MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Fast bowler Varun Aaron picked up three wickets on his debut as India stayed on course to whitewash England in the one-day international series by cruising to a six-wicket victory in the fourth match yesterday.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who went for 15 in his first over, picked up three wickets as England folded subsided to 220 all out in 46.1 overs after electing to bat first on a slow pitch at the Wankhede Stadium.
India knocked off the runs with 59 balls to spare, helped by fluent half-centuries from Suresh Raina (80) and Virat Kohli (86 not out).
Raina, who came to the crease with India reeling at 46 for three, hit 12 boundaries and added 131 with Kohli for the fourth wicket, before being bowled by Steve Finn.
Finn (3-45) dismissed opener Parthiv Patel (eight) and Gautam Gambhir (one) early and along with Tim Bresnan restricted India to 25 for two in the first 10 overs, during which the hosts failed to hit a single boundary.
Ajinkya Rahane (20) also fell early to debutant seamer Stuart Meaker but England’s hopes of victory were snuffed out by the counter-attack from Raina and Kohli.
Having already taken an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the five-match series, India returned to the Wankhede Stadium for the first time since their World Cup triumph at the same venue on April 2.
England started their innings positively but the fall of openers Alastair Cook and Craig Kieswetter to successive deliveries pegged them back.
Jonathan Trott (39) and Kevin Pietersen (41) added 73 for the third wicket to rebuild the innings but the India spin duo of Ashwin and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2-41) forced a middle-order collapse.
Aaron, who will turn 22 next Saturday, made his debut on Sunday after fellow seamer Umesh Yadav was ruled out with a hand injury he suffered during the last match at Mohali. Aaron came back in his second spell to polish off the England tail, clean bowling the last three batsman with good pace and accuracy. The visitors would not have got past the 200-run mark but for Bresnan’s run-a-ball 45.
The fifth and final one-dayer will be played at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens tomorrow.