Root century powers England

Root century powers England

BACK IN FORM: England's Joe Root flicks one to the boundary during his 113 against India on Saturday. AFP

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 rubber at Lord’s here 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 spot on with the toss as he decided to bat first after winning the toss on a wicket that slowed down as time passed by.

Root responded to his captain’s call and returned to form with a classy 113 off 166 balls, his 12th century of career, to steer England to a competitive 322 for seven.

He was ably supported by skipper Morgan (53 off 51 balls) and all-rounder David Willey (50 no off 31 balls).

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav (3/68) was again the most successful bowler 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.

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.

KL Rahul too failed to get going, departing for a duck edging his second delivery to Jos Buttler behind the stumps off Plunkett’s bowling in the 11th over. Thereafter, Kohli and Raina raised hopes 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 LBW to Moeen Ali, Raina was cleaned up by leg-spinner Adil Rashid few overs later.

From there on, it was a difficult task for the rest of batsmen and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni (37) too struggled to rotate the strike, scoring his runs off 59 balls.

Dhoni’s innings was a struggle from the word go as he tried to rebuild the chase in the company of Hardik Pandya (21) and the tail which never materialised. Plunkett picked up four wickets for England giving away 46 runs, while Willey (2/48) and Rashid (2/38) shared four wickets between them.

Milestone for Dhoni

During the course of the game, Dhoni became the fourth Indian to reach the milestone of 10,000 runs in ODIs. He needed just 33 runs to achieve the mark and he did it with a single in the 43rd over. 

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