Perth, Jan 30: India were today knocked out of the tri-series cricket tournament after yet another spineless display as England recovered from a top-order collapse to record a three-wicket victory and secure a place in the final here.
In a do-or-die game, India's batsmen let the team down badly as they frittered away a good start to be bundled out for 200 in 48.1 overs, losing as many as nine wickets for 97 runs from a relatively comfortable 103 for one. (India end Australia tour winless, first time in 47 years)
England were tottering at 66 for five at one stage but staged a gritty fightback through James Taylor (82) and Jos Buttler (67) as their stand steered the team home with 19 balls to spare at the WACA ground.
England will now take on Australia in the final on Sunday. It was yet another disappointing show by the Indians, who have now failed to win a single international match during their ongoing tour of Australia.
The tournament, which served as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, has shown that there are lot of chinks in defending champions' armoury as they lost three out of the four matches while one was abandoned.
While it a mixture of variable bounce and poor application which resulted in India's batting downfall, it was Ajinkya Rahane, who some what proved to be a saving grace with a patient knock of 73 as his teammates did not show the stomach for a fight.
On the otherhand, it was diminutive Taylor alongwith the flashy wicketkeeper batsman Buttler, who showed a lot of resolve despite losing the top five as their 125-run partnership guided Eoin Morgan's team home.
Taylor hit only four boundaries in his 122 ball innings but played the role of a sheet anchor to perfection. Buttler had seven fours in 77 balls to his credit.
While Stuart Binny (3/33) is slowly making a case for himself in the starting XI with three top-order wickets, India's bowling line-up is yet to bear a settled look and inspire confidence as they are set to begin the Cup defence in hardly two weeks' time.
Final on Sunday (February 1) - Australia Vs England (8.50 AM IST)