India clinch series victory in Mohali
India sealed a series victory with a five-wicket win in the third one-day international against England to assume an unassailable 3-0 lead in Mohali.
England elected to bat first on a good wicket and proceeded to post 298 for four from their 50 overs with Jonathan Trott compiling 98 and Kevin Pietersen and Samit Patel chipping in with 64 and 70, respectively.
India's run-chase was led by an imperious 91 from opener Ajinkya Rahane, and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at the crease to steer his side home with a brisk 35 as the hosts reached 300 with four balls remaining to clinch a comprehensive series victory.
It was another chastening result for England as captain Alastair Cook was left to rue a disjointed effort in the field from his side as India claimed another win in the series billed as 'The Payback' in the local media following the hosts' torrid tour over the summer.
After Cook had chosen to bat first, both Praveen and Vinay Kumar found movement in the air and off the pitch. It was the latter that did for the England captain, lbw pushing forward to Vinay and unable to cover the nip back into his front pad.
Craig Kieswetter and Trott shared a watchful, and occasionally fitful, stand which contained just a smattering of shots in anger during the initial powerplay.
Kieswetter struck two of England's four sixes, one trademark club over midwicket off Praveen and a thick outside edge over a vacant third-man at the other end. But with the 50 partnership in sight, the opener made a misjudgment against Virat Kohli's gentle inswing and toe-ended a yorker on to his leg-stump.
Pietersen appeared in control from the outset, and put some pace in England's innings. His only significant blemish was his part in a mix-up which should have seen Trott run out for 32, had India not made a hash of retrieving the ball from short midwicket after Pietersen set off and kept running for a single from the last ball of the over.
Pietersen, whose half-century was his first in nine ODI innings and astoundingly only his third in 33, looked all set to convert to three figures. But he paid dearly for missing a Ravindra Jadeja arm ball - Sudhir Asnani giving him out lbw for 64, despite a monster stride out of his crease.
Ravi Bopara and especially Patel both played well around Trott. But there were still only 27 runs for the loss of Bopara, the second to inside-edge a yorker on to his stumps, in the batting powerplay before Patel ensured 91 with some brutal hitting in the last 10 overs.
India settled quickly in their reply, and Parthiv Patel shared a 79-run opening stand with Rahane, who proceeded to share a further 111-run stand for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir.
Tim Bresnan was wayward with the new ball, and there were also some poor lines from first-change Jade Dernbach while England frequently looked ragged in the field.
Gambhir was dismissed by the impressive Steven Finn - who finished with figures of two for 44 - as the number three departed for 58, before Virat Kohli contributed 35 from number four.
Finn removed Rahane nine runs shy of his century, and a fleeting period of hope for England ensued as Suresh Raina was dismissed by Bresnan for a five-ball duck.
But England were unable to force the initiative in the final overs as India seized control once more when Dhoni and Jadeja - who scored a crucial 26 from 24 balls alongside his skipper - took the game away from the tourists.
Equally, the tourists' challenge was not helped by several blunders in the field, with wicket-keeper Kieswetter enduring a fairly inauspicious stint behind the stumps as England looked increasingly bereft of confidence.
India required seven runs from the final over, but two crushing blows through extra cover from Dhoni saw the hosts clinch a third successive victory in a series which is fast becoming a chastening experience for the disgruntled tourists.
The fourth ODI sees England continue their search for an elusive first win in this series in Mumbai on Sunday, before the final match takes place two days later in Kolkata.