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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Root's century inspires England to series-levelling win

PHOTOS: Root's century inspires England to series-levelling win

Last updated on: July 15, 2018 00:53 IST

Joe Root

IMAGE: Joe Root celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

India's famed batting line-up faltered in a competitive chase after Joe Root returned to form with a classy century to guide England to a series-levelling 86-run win in the second ODI of the three-match series at Lord's, in London, on Saturday.

By virtue of this win, England have levelled the series 1-1 after India had won the first ODI by eight wickets at Nottingham. The series-deciding final ODI will be played at Leeds on July 17.

England captain Eoin Morgan was bang on target with the toss as he decided to bat first after winning the toss on a wicket that slowed down considerably in the second half of the game.

Root responded to his captain's call and returned to form with a classy 113 not out from 166 balls, his 12th ODI century, to steer England to a competitive 322 for seven.

He was ably supported by captain Morgan, who stroked a fleunt 53 off 51 balls, while all-rounder David Willey provided the impetus at the end with a quickfire 50 from 31 balls.

IMAGE: England's players celebrate the wicket of KL Rahul. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was again the most successful bowler but went for runs, picking up three for 68, while Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya picked up a wicket apiece.

But India never got going while chasing the target. Barring an 80-run fourth wicket stand between skipper Virat Kohli (45) and Suresh Raina (46), all other batsmen struggled as the visitors were bundled out for 236, with pacer Liam Plunkett taking four for 46.

Rohit Sharma (15) and Shikhar Dhawan (36) shared 49 runs for the opening stand before both perished in successive overs to put India on the back foot early on.

KL Rahul fell for a duck edging his second delivery to Jos Buttler behind the stumps off Plunkett's bowling in the 11th over.

IMAGE: England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler appeals successfully for the wicket of Virat Kohli, who is given leg before wicket off Moeen Ali's bowling. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Thereafter, Kohli and Raina raised visions of a victory, stitching 80 runs for the fourth wicket but that was not to be as both perished in quick succession to hurt India's cause.

While Kohli was adjudged leg before to Moeen Ali, Raina was cleaned up by leg-spinner Adil Rashid few overs later.

Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni then played a strange knock, scoring a painstaking 37 off 59 balls as the run rate required soared and India's chase became increasingly hopeless.

The two England spinners kept India's batsmen in a tight leash in the middle overs, with Rashid picking up two for 38, while Moeen claimed one for 42, as the duo conceded a total of 80 runs from their 20 overs.

IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav celebrates after taking the wicket of Jonny Bairstow. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Earlier, Jason Roy (40) and Jonny Bairstow (38) provided a quick start to England's innings as they put on 69 for the opening wicket off 62 balls.

Pacers Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul found some swing with the new ball, but failed to provide early breakthroughs.

Left-arm chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav provided the breakthrough for India with his second ball, in the 11th over, as he bowled Bairstow, as the England opener went for a sweep but the ball hit the stumps after ricocheting off his pads.

Kuldeep picked up his second wicket in 12 balls as Roy was caught in the deep trying to clear the fence, to reduce England to 86 for two.

The experienced Root and Morgan countered Kuldeep's threat in the middle overs with some sensible shot selection. They rotated the strike and looked to pick up the odd boundary in between. In doing so they added 103 runs off 99 balls for the third wicket which put England back in contention for a 300-plus score.

Eoin Morgan

IMAGE: Eoin Morgan hits a boundary. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Morgan scored his 38th ODI half-century off 49 balls, while Root reached his fifty off 56 balls.

Again, it was Kuldeep, who broke the partnership, when got Morgan caught at deep midwicket off a full toss.

That resulted in a few more wickets as Umesh and Pandya dismissed Ben Stokes (5) and in-form Jos Buttler (4), both of whom were caught behind the wicket by Dhoni, who became the fourth wicket keeper to complete 300 ODI catches after Adam Gilchrist (417), Mark Boucher (403) and Kumar Sangakkara (402).

Moeen Ali (13) tried to break the shackles, but only managed to hole out off Chahal in the 42nd over with Rohit Sharma taking a fine catch at long-on.

But Willey's late assualt turned the England innings, as in the company of Root, he helped England smash 82 runs in the last eight overs to cross the 300-run mark.

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