London, Aug. 31 (PTI): Propelled by a fine unbeaten 177 by opener Ambati Rayudu, India registered a narrow one wicket victory over England at Taunton Friday night to clinch the three-match series 3-0.
Displaying maturity way beyond his age, Rayudu, still three weeks short of his 17th birthday, scored his runs off just 137 balls to enable India to a memorable series whitewash. He flayed the England attack to all parts of the ground and sealed the win that seemed a near impossible task till the last couple of overs.
Chasing 304 for victory, India, at one stage, found themselves languishing at 96 for four and then 135 for six.
However, despite regular loss of wickets at the other end, Rayudu continued to flourish with the bat and eventually found an ally in Kuldeep Rawat, with whom he added 115 for the seventh wicket which set the stage for victory.
Even then, England regained control when Tim Bresn an, struck twice in three balls. But at 266 for nine with less than six overs remaining, Rayudu was joined by last man Chandrashekar Atram, the hero of India’s one-wicket win on Thursday.
While Atram kept his nerve at one end, Rayudu coolly saw his side home, completing the victory when he pulled Kyle Hogg, over mid-wicket for six.
It was a highly frustrating day for the English colts as, batting first, they had piled up a massive 303 for seven in 50 overs, with the bulk of the scoring made by the openers — Kadeer Ali and Andrew Gale. The pair added an imperious 201 inside 30 overs.
England: 303/7 in 50 ovs. (Kadeer Ali 125, Gale 77, Hogg 35 n.o., Mustard 34, T. K. Patel 4/36). India: 306/9 in 48.1 ovs. (Rayudu 177 n.o., Rawat 37, Pathan 23, S. Patel 3/45, Bresnan 2/51). India won by one wicket.