England V India – 5th ODI
With the series already over, England defeated India by 41 runs, despite a late onslaught by Ravi Jadeja, after Joe Root had scored a vital century on his home ground.
After India won the toss and put England into bat Cook and Hales got England off to a solid but unspectacular start before Hales tried to go over the top but skied it to Rahane, which started jubilant celebrations among the Indian contingent who made the atmosphere brilliant. Moeen Ali was the next to go as he sliced one to third man after making just 9. Cook and Root then set about rebuilding the innings at at the end of the 10 over power play England were 49-2. Root and Cook then brought up the 50 partnership before Cook, looking for his 50, goes for a sweep off Raina but top-edges to India’s wicket-keeper and captain MS Dhoni. By this time the Sun was blazing, and the overhead conditions were perfect, however Morgan failed to take advantage as he danced down the track and Trieste to push Ashwin into the leg side, however he missed and was stumped easily. At this stage England were being really stifled by the spinners and struggling to score runs. Root then brought up his 50 off 68 balls before England took the batting power play. Enter Jos Buttler. Buttler dominated the strike in the power play and decided to go for his shots striking two sixes, before Root got in on the act and struck a six, with England scoring 55 runs without loss in the power play. Root and Buttler then brought up their hundred partnership off 75 balls before Buttler went down the pitch and his hit on his pad sparking LBW appeals, however a quick thinking Dhoni got the ball and ran out Buttler just one run short of his 50. Root then brought up his 100 with a slog sweep, high into the east stand, for 6. Root then tried the cheeky ramp shot against Shami, however Ashwin took an easy catch at fine-leg. It is safe to say Indian cricketers are heroes to their fans as Indian fans were constantly shouting and singing their names, not only at the players but also the players who weren’t actually playing. Shami then accounted for Woakes by bowling a perfect yorker, and some late hitting from Ben Stokes got England up to 294-7, a par score at Headingley.
There was plenty of half-time fun around the ground, with Zorbing on the pitch and the final of the speed gun competition, the quest to find the fastest club bowler in Yorkshire. Elsewhere Yorkshire legend Anthony McGrath was having a Q&A session, while cricket factory were letting people test out their skills. This just shows what a wonderful day out the cricket is, watching cricket and then doing lots of fun and enjoyable activities in the interval.
Back to the cricket, and England got off to the perfect start when Ajinkya Rahane got a thick edge to Morgan at backward point, on just the second ball of the Innings. Kohli didn’t last much longer as edged to captain Cook at slip to give Anderson his second wicket. Spin was then introduced in the form of Moeen Ali and Dhawan immediately went for a slog sweep and was bowled. Steven Finn was then brought on and he had two catches dropped in his first over. First, Woakes dropped Rayudu at third man, and then Cook dropped a dolly at slip off Raina. Ali then removed Raina when he got the thinnest of edges through to Buttler off Ali. Rayudu then brought up his 50 off 59 balls, before he top edged his pull straight to Cook at mid-on. Dhoni then chased after a wide one and hit it straight to Stokes at short cover, giving Finn his first wicket. India then lost three wickets for six runs as Ashwin and Shami both fell to Stokes either side of Kumar getting run out, which was strange as the umpire reviewed it, however England didn’t feel it was out and returned to their positions, before the cameraman rushed on to the field and England got the message he was out. Which he was. Ravi Jadeja then gave his all to keep India in the game, keeping strike for four overs as he struck fours and sixes all around the ground leading to “Ohh Ravi Jadeja” being sung around the ground, even by England fans, as the game was pretty much over, with 56 required off the last eighteen balls. However it wasn’t to be as Finn had the last laugh bowling him for 87, to end a disappointing series for England, as India triumphed 3-1. The atmosphere at this match was superb with thousands of India fans cheering every run and singing all day long, however today was England’s day, in the sun at Headingley.
MOTM: Joe Root