JULY 18, 2018
Brief Scorecard: England 260 for 2 (Root 100*, Morgan 88*) beat India 256 for 8 (Kohli 71, Dhawan 44, Willey 3-40, Rashid 3-49) by eight wickets
Adil Rashid’s three wickets, Joe Root’s second consecutive century and Eoin Morgan’s unbeaten 88 helped England seal the three-match One-Day International series 2-1 with a convincing eight-wicket win over India in the third game at Headingley in Leeds on Tuesday (July 18).
Put in to bat, India managed only 256 for 8 despite Virat Kohli’s 72-ball 71. Rashid bagged 3 for 49 from his 10 overs while David Willey (3 for 40) and Mark Wood (1 for 30) too bowled crucial spells. In reply, Morgan and Root put on an unbroken 186-run stand for the third wicket to guide England home in just 44.3 overs, Root scoring his ton off the last ball with a boundary.
For India, the over-reliance on the top three came to the fore once again. Two of the three got decent scores, but with neither making a massive score, India’s fragile middle order struggled on a pitch that wasn’t conducive to stroke-play and aided spin.
The game started with Mark Wood bowling two maidens to Rohit Sharma, which eventually resulted in the batsman flicking David Willey to deep square-leg after an 18-ball 2.
Both Dhawan and Kohli picked up pace in a 71-run stand but poor running brought about Dhawan’s downfall when he fell trying a quick single after Kohli tapped to mid-wicket, Stokes hitting directly from mid-wicket.
Dinesh Karthik, replacing KL Rahul in the side, began well and raced to a run-a-ball 21 before inside-edging a drive off Adil Rashid.
With an under-fire MS Dhoni and not much batting to follow, the onus was on Kohli. The Indian captain went past his 48th half-century and kept India going at more than five runs an over but things changed rapidly in the 31st over
Rashid first had Kohli bowled with one that turned from middle to hit off, leaving the batsman bemused. Raina followed in the same over, turning a harmless ball straight to leg-slip.
Dhoni and Hardik Pandya played out the spinners, taking their runs predominantly with running between the wickets. The duo ensured Moeen and Rashid didn’t strike again, but hopes of capitalising against pace were dented when Wood found Pandya’s edge in the 39th over.Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar carried on for a while, and India got past 250 courtesy a Shardul Thakur cameo, but it wasn’t enough.
Watch: Indian Team is used to criticism | Sanjay Bangar
India would have felt they were still in the game considering the nature of the track, but the way England started would have dented their hopes. Jonny Bairstow raced away against the pacers, slamming boundaries at will in a 13-ball 30 that took England past 40 in four overs.
Bairstow fell against the run of play in a soft manner when he flicked Thakur to mid-wicket. James Vince, replacing the injured Jason Roy as the opener, carried on in a slower pace for a while before he was undone by sharp keeping by Dhoni and run out despite a wayward throw from mid-wicket.
England had raced to 74 for 2 by the 10th over when Vince fell, but India would have felt they were in the game considering they had two able spinners for the dry surface. But the fielding was sloppy, which meant India could never apply pressure.
Morgan and Root didn’t do anything fancy and tackled the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav with normal batting, which was made possible by the below-par target. The good balls were defended or worked for singles, while the poor ones were put away to the fence with sweeps or reverse sweeps.
Root’s footwork was impressive – he came fully forward and also used the depth of the crease to good effect. Morgan too put his head down and didn’t over-attack, which meant England made steady progress in the middle overs. The first six of the innings came only in the 38th over.
Once both batsmen got past their fifties, the writing was on the wall. India were being killed slowly, and it didn’t help that they missed a few chances. Dhoni put down a touch catch down leg side off Root when he was on 59. Dhoni made amends a few overs later when he made a sharp stumping with Root out of the crease, but Chahal had overstepped.
Much later, with England just 12 away, Bhuvneshwar dropped Morgan at mid-on, summing up a poor day on the park for the visitors.