England sign off with Twenty20 victory over India
England stayed top of the T20 rankings after Kevin Pietersen's 53 gave them a comfortable win in Kolkata
England ended their sorry tour of India on a high as Steven Finn and Kevin Pietersen guided them to a six-wicket Twenty20 victory in Kolkata.
Having been on the receiving end of a 5-0 drubbing in the 50 over series England, led by Graeme Swann in the absence of injured captain Stuart Broad, took the field eager to set the record straight.
Finn, England’s silver lining for the tour, struck in the very first over to have Ajinkya Rahane acrobatically caught by Craig Kieswetter for a duck.
Robin Uthappa, making his first Indian appearance since 2008, followed in the next over as Tim Bresnan found his outside edge leaving Kieswetter to do the rest and India were 5-2.
The home side had relied heavily on their talented middle order throughout the tour and Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina usually provided the runs. However, they could only add another 21 as Kohli holed out to Alex Hales at wide long on off Bresnan, a superb catch that showed England’s spark had returned in the field.
Raina, though, was threatening to hurt England once more and looked well set on 39 before cutting a slower ball from Finn straight to point. The Middlesex bowler was on a hat trick as he bowled Ravindra Jadeja with his next ball and India 74-6.
With skipper MS Dhoni at the crease India were always confident of turning things around however, the in-form batsmen was deserted by his team mates as one after the other they were dismissed.
Ravi Bopara picked up two wickets as England restricted India well and Dhoni became the ninth man out when he was run out off the last ball of the innings with the score on 120.
Having lost both openers in reply with 40 on the board England needed a score from Pietersen, playing with a broken thumb, and he duly delivered.
He rode his luck though and was dropped on one by Suresh Raina but, in partnership with Samit Patel (21), saw England home with 53 from 39 balls, including five fours and three maximums.
With the pair both being dismissed late on it was left to Bopara and Jonny Bairstow to seal the win with eight balls to spare, a bitter sweet ending to a difficult tour.