A superb century from local Yorkshire boy Joe Root helped England to a consolation 41-run win in the fifth and final Royal London ODI at Headingley in Leeds on Friday. England thus avoided a cleansweep leaving India content with a series win of 3-1.
Bowling first after winning the toss, India got the early wicket of Alex Hales who top edged a pull off Umesh Yadav in the 4th over. Moeen Ali promoted to no.3 was dismissed cheaply when his big shot off Bhuvneshwar Kumar flew straight to thridman leaving England at 39 for 2 in 7 overs.
Skipper Alastair Cook (46 from 64 balls) along with Joe Root repaired the early damages but got himself out top edging a sweep off Suresh Raina in the 20th over. Eoin Morgan failed again and this time he was stumped after being comprehensively beaten by the turn from R Ashwin which left England on the backfoot at 117 for 4 in 29 overs.
A match-turning stand of 108 between Joe Root and Jos Buttler got the hosts back on track. This big stand was broken when Jos Buttler (49 from 40 balls) ran himself out after blindly setting off for a leg bye from MS Dhoni. Meanwhile the 23-year-old Joe Root who went on to score his 2nd ODI century got out paddling Mohammed Shami to short fine leg. Root finished with 113 from 108 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes.
England finished on a high at 294 for 7 thanks to Ben Stokes scoring a confident-boosting cameo of 33 not out from 23 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes.
India’s run chase got off on a wrong note with last match centurion Ajinkya Rahane dismissed for a duck in the third ball of the innings when he scooped a loose drive off James Anderson to backward point. About six overs later, Virat Kohli fell to his nemesis Jimmy Anderson nicking an outswinger to slip after scoring 13. There was more trouble in store for India with Shikhar Dhawan missing a slog sweep and getting bowled by Moeen Ali for a 44-ball 31. The same bowler would go on to take Suresh Raina forcing him to top edge a cut to the keeper for 18.
At 91 for 4 in the 22nd over, it was an impossible task for India to get the remaining runs. AT Rayudu gave a glimmer of hope with a couple of big sixes but walked back to the pavilion scoring 53 from 65 balls after getting bounced out by Ben Stokes. The writing on the wall was clear for India when Skipper MS Dhoni perished after scoring a 42-ball 29 when his cut shot off Steven Finn flew straight into the hands of point.
India slipped to 173 for 5 in 36.5 overs and was heading for a big defeat. However, a brutal knock of 87 from 68 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes by Ravindra Jadeja meant that India went down fighting with a total of 253 all out. Ben Stokes had a perfect all-round finish taking 3 for 47 while there were a couple of wickets each for James Anderson (10-0-39-2), Moeen Ali and Steven Finn.