England will take on Australia in the Tri-Series final after overcoming a case of the wobbles to beat India by three wickets in Friday’s one-day clash at the WACA Ground.
Chasing 201 for victory on a WACA deck possessing some demons, England were in all sorts of trouble at 5-66 in the 20th over.
With the side in desperate need of a salvage mission, James Taylor (82) and Jos Buttler (67) came to the rescue with a 125-run stand to lift England to victory with 19 balls to spare.
The result catapults England into Sunday’s final against Australia in what will be a precursor to their World Cup showdown on February 14.
India can turn their full attention to the World Cup following a disastrous Test and one-day tour Down Under that failed to yield one win.
Friday’s result could have been vastly different had Ajinkya Rahane hit the stumps from short range to run Buttler out for three.
Instead of being 6-72, England made the most of the reprieve as Buttler and Taylor combined for a match-winning partnership.
Earlier, India’s batsmen struggled to score freely on an unpredictable pitch that offered varying bounce.
Rahane made a patient 73 and fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan made a scratchy 38, but their 83-run stand was one of few highlights for the Indians.
At 1-103, India had a chance to build a competitive total despite their slow run rate.
But collapses of 4-33 and 4-13 ended any hopes of India building anything sizeable, with their innings eventually brought to an end after 48.1 overs.
Paceman James Anderson conceded just 10 runs from his first six overs before finishing with 1-24, while spinner Moeen Ali snared the key wickets of Virat Kohli (8) and Suresh Raina (1).
Anderson wasn’t just miserly, he was also destructive.
One delivery kicked off the pitch to such an extent that it struck MS Dhoni flush on the front of the helmet.
Dhoni was unhurt and even had a bit of a giggle about it.
But he wasn’t laughing a few balls later when an Anderson delivery kept remarkably low to trap him lbw.
Tail-ender Mohammed Shami provided some highlights at the death, with the 24-year-old cracking 25 off 18 balls to push the total to 200.