India’s invincible run in One Day International bilateral series came to a stuttering end as Virat Kohli’s men stumbled to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of hosts England in the third and final ODI of the series at Headingley, Leeds. Eoin Morgan and Joe Root led the chase for England in the second innings, successfully scaling India’s low total of 256/8 after 50 overs.
Put in to bat first, India got off to a poor start as Rohit Sharma was caught in the deep for just two runs. Shikhar Dhawan failed to convert a good start into a big score and was run out for 44 in 49 balls. Kohli, along with Dinesh Karthik coming in at number 4 in place of the dropped KL Rahul, looked to buckle down and set the platform for a big score but England leg-spinner Adil Rashid had other plans.
In a three-wicket blitz, he first dismissed Karthik and then clean bowled Kohli for 71, with the Indian captain left stunned after seeing his off-stump uprooted. Suresh Raina fell for just one and MS Dhoni, coming in at number 5, scored a painstaking 42 off 66 balls. Shardul Thakur slammed two sixes in the dying overs as Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored 21 each. Along with Rashid, England’s David Willey also registered three wickets to his name.
In reply, India did not get to the best of starts but removed openers Jonny Bairstow and James Vince with England’s total at 74, with the latter falling prey to a run-out that saw some brilliant glovework from MS Dhoni. However, the duo of Morgan and Root remained undeterred and unmoved, guiding their team to a memorable win with a mammoth partnership.
Root finished his innings at 100 not out off 120 balls and Morgan at 88 off 108 as their unbeaten stand of 186 took the hosts to the win in the series decider with 39 balls to spare, with Root completing his ton with a four off the last ball. Thakur was India’s only wicket-taker in the game, with the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal ending with figures of 0/55 and 0/41 respectively.