England avoid whitewash

2014-09-05 19:01
Joe Root (AFP)

Leeds - Joe Root's hundred in his first one-day international at his Yorkshire home ground has laid the platform for England's much-needed 41-run win over India at Headingley on Friday.

India still won the series 3-1 but England's victory in the finale meant they avoided being whitewashed by the world champions.

Root's 113 was the cornerstone of England's 294 for seven -- their best ODI total of the season and a vast improvement on their 206 all out in a nine-wicket defeat by India at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

India faltered in their pursuit of 295, with Ravindra Jadeja's dashing 87 at number seven too late to turn the tide and when he was last man out they had been dismissed for 253.

"We played really well, we know what we can do," England captain Alastair Cook told the BBC.

"One good game in four isn't good enough.

"Joe Root played fantastically well. He went on and a couple of other guys supported him. That's what we've been trying to do."

Meanwhile Root said: "It's nice to get a win.

"It was tough to start with but once you got used to the wicket it got easier and I took a few more risks towards the end and it came off."

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed the defeat on his batsmen.

"We gave away too many wickets. There were quite a few soft dismissals and we were not able to score the number of runs we were supposed to."

It seemed India would restrict England to another meagre total when the hosts slumped to 117 for four after losing the toss.

But Root, who became the first Yorkshireman to score an ODI hundred at Headingley, and Jos Buttler (49) repaired the damage with a fifth-wicket partnership of 108.

For England, it was initially an all-too-familiar story as India's pacemen make early breakthroughs before wickets fell to the spinners while runs dried up.

England found themselves 39 for two off seven overs.

Under-pressure skipper Cook, trying to break the shackles, made 46 before he top-edged a sweep against off-spinner Suresh Raina and was caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni.

Dhoni then stumped Eoin Morgan (14) off Ravichandran Ashwin's off-spin.

But the re-introduction of pace saw Buttler uppercut Yadav for six.

England at last enjoyed a productive batting powerplay, scoring 55 runs for no wickets in five overs.

But Buttler fell when he set off for a non-existent single and was run out by Dhoni.

Man-of-the-match Root, though, slog-swept spinner Jadeja for six to complete a 105-ball century.

But Root's second and highest ODI hundred ended when an intended 'ramp' off Mohammed Shami went straight to Ashwin at short fine leg.

However, his century ensured England's attack had a total they could defend.

- Rahane duck -

India's run-chase started badly when they lost Ajinkya Rahane, who made a maiden ODI hundred at Edgbaston, for a third-ball duck when he steered James Anderson's outswinger straight to Morgan at point.

Virat Kohli's miserable tour continued when, on 13, he was squared up by Anderson, who took an economical two for 39, and edged to Cook at slip.

But Shikhar Dhawan, who made an unbeaten 97 at Edgbaston, swept off-spinner Ali for six.

However, trying to repeat the shot, he was bowled three balls later by Ali for 31.

Fast bowler Steven Finn then had Ambati Rayudu and Raina dropped in the same over.

But man-of-the-series Raina fell for 18 when, trying to cut Ali, he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Buttler.

Rayudu completed a fine fifty before, on 53, he saw an ugly swipe off Stokes lob to Cook at mid-on.

And India's victory hopes all but evaporated when dangerman Dhoni, on 29, somehow cut a wide Finn delivery low to Stokes at point.

That left India 173 for six in the 37th over.

Jadeja hit out before playing on to the persevering Finn as England won with eight balls to spare.

Read more on:    joe root  |  cricket

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