England beat India by three wickets via D/L method in the rain-affected third ODI to take a 2-0 lead in the series after a rain delay revised their target to 218 in 43 overs here at the Kia Oval on Friday.
It ultimately boiled down to England's depth in batting as all-rounders Tim Bresnan (28) and Ravi Bopara (40) came to their rescue when they lost two quick wickets after the rain delay.
Rain stopped play in the third ODI between England and India just when India were clawing their way back into the match with their spinners. England were 95/3 in 20 overs and if no further play takes place, the hosts will win by five runs via D/L method.
Fighting half centuries by MS Dhoni and RavindraJadeja helped India recover from a top-order collapse and post a competitive 234/7 in the third ODI against England here at the Kia Oval.
James Anderson (3/48) dessimated India's top-order with a three-wicket opening spell when Dhoni and Jadeja joined each other for a face-saving 112-run partnership, which was followed by a 19-ball 36 from R Ashwin after the visitors were reduced to 58/5 in the 19th over.
In the morning, England drew first blood in the first over itself when Anderson got the wicket of in-form AjinkyaRahane. After negotiating two balls from Anderson, the 23-year-old Rahane edged the third to Jonathan Trott in slips.
Anderson then played a role in sending RahulDravid back by running India's No. 3 out after he had scored just two. The 29-year-old then clean-bowled a fidgety Parthiv Patel (3), who tried to get off the blocks aggressively but misjudged the line of delivery.
In doldrums at 13/3, Suresh Raina and ViratKohli tried to put India's house in order but could take the score only as far as 25 when Anderson's swing accounted for Kohli (18).
Skipper Dhoni's stint started aggressively as he drove handsomely for a boundary, and with Raina also hitting Anderson for a pick-up six, it looked the duo will row India out of trouble waters after team's fifty came up in the 16th over.
But Raina (21) attemped one shot too many. Stuart Broad pitched one short that angled away from the left-hander, whose slog ended in an edge pouched by Kieswetter.
After Anderson's early strikes, it was now up to Dhoni and all-rounder comeback man RavindraJadeja. The duo checked the fall of wickets, moving the scoreboard safely to hundred in the 29th over, which was soon followed by Dhoni's half century that came off 69 balls with five boundaries.
But for some reason, even after being well set, the Indians slowed down between overs 35 to 43. During that period, Jadeja's impressive return turned into a half century and 100-run partnership with the skipper. At the end of the 43rd over, Dhoni chose to take the batting powerplay.
But just when India wanted Dhoni to stay, the skipper top-edged Tim Bresnan to perish for 69, which also ended the face-saving sixth-wicket partnership of 112 runs.
Ashwin then joined Jadeja with a license to use the long handle, and the off-spinner did it to good effect with his 36 not out off 19 balls, including five boundaries.
Jadeja also played the big shots, helping India score 51 runs in the batting powerplay. Jadeja fell in the final over for a well-made 78, but not before he and Ashwin propelled India to a fighting total.