Ton-up Root dominates Indian spinners, England take series 2-1

Ton-up Root dominates Indian spinners, England take series 2-1

Chasing 258 to win, England finished with 260/2 in 44.3 overs as India''s streak of nine consecutive bilateral series'' wins came to a halt.

Star batsman Joe Root continued his splendid run with a second successive century as England produced another impressive allround display to canter to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over India in the series-deciding final ODI to wrap up the three-match series 2-1, here today.

Root (100), who had scored a match-winning century in the second ODI, completed his 13th ODI ton in the last ball, while skipper Eoin Morgan (88) smashed an unbeaten half-century as the duo shared a 186-run unconquered third wicket stand to script a successful runchase on a track which seemed to have eased out later in the day.

Chasing 258 to win, England finished with 260/2 in 44.3 overs as India’s streak of nine consecutive bilateral series’ wins came to a halt.

With this win, England exacted revenge for their 1-2 loss against India in the twenty20 series. England thus won their first bilateral ODI series against this opposition since 2011. 

Earlier, Virat Kohli scored 71 runs off 72 balls, inclusive of eight fours, as India managed 256/8 (50 overs) after being put into bat. 

The visitors’ innings had faltered in face of some disciplined spin bowling, with Adil Rashid taking 3-49 and hurting the middle order. MS Dhoni scored 42 off 66 balls to shepherd the innings in the latter half.

Chasing a below-par total, England bolted off the blocks thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s 30 off 13 balls. He smacked seven fours and rendered ineffective India’s new ball pairing of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-49) and Hardik Pandya (0-39).

First change Shardul Thakur (1-51) too failed to provide any early breakthrough. He later removed Bairstow in the fifth over. Then James Vince (27) was run out as Dhoni acrobatically broke the stumps after collecting a fine throw from Pandya.

In the interim though, Vince had added 31 with Root for the second wicket and kept England’s early momentum going. The hosts were placed at 78/2 after 10 overs, well ahead of the asking rate and eager to meet the challenge of spin.

Yuzvendra Chahal (0-41) varied his pace on a wicket taking some turn, while the main spotlight was on Kuldeep Yadav (0-55) again. 

Root joined in by Morgan replicated their partnership template from Lord’s as they rotated the strike well and didn’t mind when no boundaries flowed for a couple overs. 

They added 50 for the third wicket off 69 balls, and in doing so became the most successful batting pair for England in ODIs. They went past 2118 partnerships runs put on by Alastair Cook and Ian Bell.

Root then reached his half-century off 60 balls, while Morgan quickly joined him in reaching his 39th fifty off 58 balls. Their 100-partnership came off 118 balls even as Indian shoulders started to drop.

England were in cruise control throughout this stand and India’s attack appeared lacking in penetration.

England eventually completed the formalities as Root scored his hundred off the last ball of the game, taking his side to victory with 5.3 overs to spare, thus maintaining their unbeaten streak at this ground in last seven matches.