Monday 9 December, 2019

Root blossoms as England reign at Lord's to level ODI series

Joe Root celebrates reaching his 12th ODI hundred for England.

Joe Root celebrates reaching his 12th ODI hundred for England.

Joe Root scored his 12th one-day hundred as England levelled the three-match series against India with an emphatic 86-run victory at Lord’s on Saturday.

Root made 113 to help the hosts – who opted to bat first after winning the toss – post 322-7, with captain Eoin Morgan and David Willey weighing in with half-centuries.

India had won the opening match with ease on Thursday, chasing down a target of 269 with eight wickets to spare thanks to Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 137.

However, the hero from Trent Bridge was the first of three early wickets to fall in a disappointing reply, with India bowled out for 236 from the final delivery of the 50th over.

Liam Plunkett claimed 4-46 as England set up winner-takes-all-showdown at Headingley on Tuesday.

Root's innings is a positive with more than just the final ODI in mind. England's five-day captain has struggled for runs on home soil in 2018 but appears to be finding form just as a five-match Test series between the nations looms large on the horizon.

The right-hander hit eight fours and a solitary six to move level with Marcus Trescothick for most three-figure scores for England in 50-over cricket.

Openers Jason Roy (40) and Jonny Bairstow (36) shared stand of 69 before both departed in quick succession to Kuldeep Yadav, who followed up his six-wicket haul in Nottingham with 3-60.

Morgan also fell to the left-arm leg-spinner, caught at deep mid-wicket for 53 off a full toss, but while England slipped to 239-6 at one stage, Willey's unbeaten 50 – his highest score in the format at international level – carried the total to 300 and beyond.

India's reply was hampered by losing wickets at regular intervals, scuppering their hopes of clinching the series with a game to spare. 

Not one of their line-up reached 50, Suresh Raina top scoring with 46 before he was bowled by Adil Rashid while skipper Virat Kohli's promising innings was cut short on 45 when he missed a straight ball from Moeen Ali to be trapped lbw.

MS Dhoni became just the 12th player to reach 10,000 one-day runs but his subdued knock of 37 rather summed up a run chase that faltered early before fading badly down the stretch.

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