Disciplined England restrict India to 256/8 in series decider
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid's triple strikes in the middle overs helped England restrict India for a below par 256/8 in the series-deciding third and final One-day International (ODI) at the Headingley cricket ground here on Tuesday.
Put in to bat, India rode on captain Virat Kohli's run-a-ball 71, combined with his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni's laborious 66-ball 42 and a valuable 44 from opener Shikhar Dhawan even as Rashid applied the brakes to return figures of 3/49 off his 10 overs.
India was in trouble early on, losing in-form opener Rohit Sharma for a sluggish 18-ball 2, before Dhawan and Kohli forged a 71-run second wicket stand to inject life back into the innings.
With the right-left duo of Kohli and Dhawan going all guns blazing, all-rounder Ben Stokes brought the hosts back into the game with the run-out of Dhawan, who by then had faced 49 balls and struck seven fours.
The southpaw's dismissal brought in stumper Dinesh Karthik for his first game on the tour. Karthik started off well with a boundary before picking two more on his way to a quickfire 22-ball 21 but an inside edge off a tossed up delivery from Rashid ended his stay and also the 41-run third wicket stand.
Despite losing his partners at the other end, Kohli kept his cool to raise his 48th ODI half-century with a boundary off pacer Liam Plunkett and thereafter began switching gears even as Suresh Raina (1) joined him in the middle.
However, Rashid and his fellow spinner Moeen Ali managed to keep the run flow in check, which prompted both the Indian batsmen to take risks and in the process the leggie bamboozled the India skipper with a ripper which broke through his defences before Raina too departed off the same over, thanks to a brilliant catch by Joe Root at leg slip.
With India in deep trouble, Dhoni once again came to the rescue with a hard-working innings, and together with all-rounder Hardik Pandya (21 off 21 balls), raised a 36-run stand for the sixth wicket before adding another 27 runs with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (21 of 35) to stretch the total to some sort of respectability.
Towards the end, pacer Shardul Thakur produced a brilliant cameo of 13-ball unbeaten 22, that saw him launch Stokes for two sixes in the penultimate over as India's total crossed the 250-run mark.
For England, besides Rashid's three wickets, pacer David Willey also returned figures of 3/40 while fellow quick Mark Wood took one wicket.
Brief Scores: India (Virat Kohli 71, Shikhar Dhawan 44, M.S.Dhoni 42; David Willey 3/40, Adil Rashid 3/49) vs England.
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