England won a one-day international (ODI) series against India for the first time since 2011 after coasting to an impressive eight-wicket win at Headingley on Tuesday.
After containing India to 256-8, England’s Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan combined for an unbeaten 186 runs to win with 33 balls to spare and clinch the three-match series 2-1.
Root reached 100 by hitting fast bowler Hardik Pandya through midwicket for his 10th boundary and the winning runs. It was his second successive hundred.
Morgan, dropped on 85, finished on 88 not out off 108 balls, including nine boundaries and a six.
“It feels fantastic,” Root said of the series triumph. “To come into a big series like this, it’s a testament to the hard work the guys did when they set the tone early with the ball, kept taking wickets and were ruthless at the end.”
“The best thing about today is knowing it was a must-win game, the pressure of that and being able to stand up to it,” he added.
They easily handled the threat of India wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who combined for 20 overs, conceded 96 runs and claimed no wickets.
Chahal would have had Root stumped on 69, but he committed a front-foot no-ball.
New medium-pacer Shardul Thakur took the only bowler’s wicket, taking out Jonny Bairstow in the fifth over after a rapid 30.
When the other opener, James Vince, was run out for 27 in the 10th over, Morgan joined Root and the pair set about stripping confidence from India.
After winning nine successive ODI series, India lost one for the first time in two-and-a-half years.
Having split the limited-overs series — India won the Twenty20s and England the ODIs — the first of five Tests begins on Aug. 1 at Edgbaston.
Despite Root and Morgan guiding England home, spinner Adil Rashid was man of the match for claiming three wickets, including a stunning dismissal of India captain and top-scorer Virat Kohli.
Kohli backed up to a delivery that turned from leg-stump and knocked over his off-stump. Surprised, Kohli was out for 71 off 72 balls, including eight boundaries.
“The most satisfying wicket I’ve taken,” Rashid said.
Suresh Raina departed in the same 31st over, edging to Root at leg-slip on 1. India were 158-5.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was given out in the next over, but reprieved on video review. He tried to corral the tail and led India past 200, but another four overs passed without a boundary and Dhoni was out in the 46th, edging David Willey behind on 42 off 66 balls.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was out on the last ball, giving Willey a third wicket.
India, made to bat first, failed to fire. They were 32-1 after 10 overs, contained by good bowling and fielding. Only Kohli got a half-century, after he was dropped on 23, but even he battled to get on to top of the bowling.
“They suffocated us throughout the middle overs really well,” Kohli said.
He believed that they were 30 runs short of a decent total.
Nobody cleared the boundary until the 49th over, when Thakur, picked for his bowling, hit Ben Stokes twice over the deep square fence.
Opener Rohit Sharma reflected India’s batting decline. After an unbeaten 137 in the first ODI win, he scratched 15 in the second and only 2 in the third, wasting 18 deliveries.
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