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Tie was a fair result - Cook

NatWest Series

Watch post-match reaction from Lord's with Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara

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Alastair Cook felt neither England nor India could have any complaints after the hosts secured the NatWest Series with a remarkable rain-affected tie at Lord’s.

In a hugely dramatic finale, the players were briefly forced off the field at the end of the 44th and 45th overs of England’s run-chase, before a third stoppage brought the game to a premature end in the penultimate over with the scores level on Duckworth/Lewis.

Had Graeme Swann and Ravi Bopara, who compiled a superbly-paced career-best 96, not been dismissed by what proved to be the final two deliveries of the match, England would have prevailed.

India

India's players leave the field somewhat reluctantly following the second of three late rain breaks at Lord's. After the match had finished as a tie, Alastair Cook said: "It was probably a fair result."

However, the double strike arguably left India as favourites before the heavens opened once again, with 11 required from seven deliveries, Steven Finn and James Anderson both new to the crease and only the injured Stuart Broad still to bat.

Having seen his side remain 2-0 ahead in the five-match rubber heading into Friday’s final ODI in Cardiff, Cook said: "We ended up having to bat for the weather and with Duckworth/Lewis ball by ball.

"It was an extremely tough situation for both sides and, I think, probably a fair result.

"The umpires had a very tough job as well, and were very consistent. I don't think we can have any complaints."

England were narrowly behind on Duckworth/Lewis at the time of the first rain-break, but just ahead when play was stopped for a second time six balls later.

As a result, the two teams left the field with contrasting levels of reluctance on each occasion, but Cook played down the issue.

"It's human nature, natural - when you're ahead of the game and get to go off you're obviously going to be happier than the other team," he explained.

"It was quite clear when we came off the first time we wanted to go back out, because we were behind.

"When we came off second time, when we were ahead, if we are all being honest we would have quite liked it to have rained for another hour and we wouldn't have had the last few overs.

Ravi Bopara

Ravi Bopara batted superbly to take England to the brink of victory, yet the Essex batsman said: "I'm just down that I didn't finish the game."

"That's because the desire to win is so huge on both sides."

Cook was understandably delighted by the performance of Bopara and also paid tribute to Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann, with whom Bopara shared respective stands of 47 and 50 for the sixth and seventh wickets.

"It's difficult enough trying to keep your nerve up top, where you can't do anything about it, trying to decide what we think they should be doing (out there)," said the captain.

"The way Ravi, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann held their nerve got us almost over the line - and to win the series because of it makes us delighted."

When asked about the fitness of Broad, who injured his right triceps when bowling the final over of India’s innings, Cook added: "He will go for a scan tonight or tomorrow, and we'll see how it settles down over the next 24 to 48 hours.

"He was padded up, ready to go. I'm not sure how effective he would have been, but with a few pain-killers he might have been all right."

Bopara’s wonderful knock comfortably surpassed his previous ODI best of 60 and ensure he shared the match award with Suresh Raina, India’s top-scorer with 84 from 75 balls.

However, the Essex batsman was left downhearted by England’s failure to clinch victory.

"It's extremely disappointing that we didn't end up winning," he said.

"I never quite knew when to accelerate, with the weather and big black clouds lurking round the back there. Then when you lose a wicket the Duckworth/Lewis goes up - but nevertheless we won the series.

"I knew (the Duckworth/Lewis par score) over by over, not ball by ball.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni took heart from his 169-run alliance with Suresh Raina, which lifted the tourists to an imposing total. "We were never really thinking of getting 280," said India's skipper

"Looking at pieces of paper gets too confusing, so I rather go by overs. But after Swanny got out, I wasn't thinking of just knocking it about - in case we left too much for ourselves - so I took on the shot, and it didn't come off.

"I'm just down that I didn't finish the game. I want to win games for England, not tie games for England. It didn't happen today. But the bigger picture is we've clinched the series - and that's more important."

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was satisfied with his side’s performance and felt they could have gone on to record victory had the rain not arrived.

"It’s not the first time," he said, referring to the first ODI in Durham which was abandoned with England struggling on 27 for two in pursuit of 275.

"The first game that got washed out, I think we were very close to winning that. It was a steep target.

"This one, I think we did really well. We were in a position where we could have won the game, but, as I said, you can’t control the weather."

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who made 78 from 71 balls, took particular heart from India’s batting display and the fifth-wicket stand of 169 he shared with Raina.

"We wanted to make sure we played a number of overs, because we never had a big target in mind," Dhoni explained.

"We were never really thinking of getting 280. What we wanted was to try and rotate and not to play shots that were too risky and get close to the 40th over mark and decide on when to take the powerplay.

"It really worked for us and in the last 10 overs we were able to get close to 100, 110 runs. That really made the difference."

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