A magnificent team performance from England earned them an 86-run victory over India at Lord’s to level the ODI series 1-1.
Eoin Morgan took the controversial decision to bat first, although clearly his mind was on negating the impact of India’s spinners towards the end of the match. The plan worked perfectly, as Jason Roy (40 off 42) and Jonny Bairstow (38 off 31) got the innings off to a flying start, reaching 69 before Bairstow fell in the 11th over.
Joe Root and Morgan put together a key partnership of 103 for the third wicket, batting at more than six to the over, before Morgan was caught off Kuldeep Yadav for 53 off 51 balls, having hit four fours and a six.
David Willey joined Root in lifting England past 300 with a hard-hitting, undefeated 50 off 31 balls, including five fours and a six at a strike rate of 161.29, before Player of the Match Root was run out off the final ball of the innings. Root had played the anchor role in scoring 113 off 116 balls, with eight fours and a six, reaching his 12th ODI ton as England recorded an imposing 322-7 to set India a target of almost 6.5 to the over.
Yadav played a key role with the ball, taking 3-68 off his 10 overs (econ 6.80), while Yuzvendra Chahal conceded just one six and no fours. Chahal’s 10 overs cost a miserly 43 runs (econ 4.30).
India started well but soon fell behind the required run rate, and the lack of a major partnership smothered their chances of matching their hosts’ score. Virat Kohli scored 45 off 56 balls and Suresh Raina made 46 off 63 balls, but disciplined England bowling kept the pressure on the Indians as the required rate rose rapidly and wickets continued to fall.
MS Dhoni scored an uncharacteristic 37 off 59 balls with just two fours as he joined the 10,000 ODI runs club, becoming the first batter to reach the milestone with an average north of 50. Dhoni is now the 12th highest run-scorer in ODIs, although Kohli is sure to pass him shortly: the Indian master batsman sits on 9,708 runs at a mammoth average of 58.13 runs per innings. Kohli also has the second most ODI tons with 35, although he’s still some way off Sachin Tendulkar’s mark of 49 ODI tons.
The England bowlers were clinical and composed throughout the innings, with Willey taking 2-48 (econ 4.80), while Moeen Ali (1-42, econ 4.20) and Adil Rashid (2-38, econ 3.80) helped put the squeeze on a powerful Indian batting lineup that failed to move into third gear.
Liam Plunkett took the key wicket of Lokesh Rahul for a second-ball duck and added three more for an impressive haul of 4-46 (econ 4.60), as England dismissed India for 236 off the final ball of their innings.
The deciding ODI takes place at Headingley on Tuesday, with the first Test starting on 1 August at Edgbaston.
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