England fell short by 15 runs in an improbable chase of 382 in the second One-Day International against India at Cuttack, to give India an unassailable 2-0 series lead in the three-match series. India’s huge total was achieved thanks to stellar contributions from Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in the first innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin was introduced into the Indian attack as late as the 20th over. England had got off to decent start in their mammoth chase. They had motored to 121/1 in 19 overs, with Joe Root and Jason Roy setting the foundations for an onslaught in the middle period.
Off the fifth ball of his first over, Ashwin got the breakthrough. England’s best batsman, Joe Root was deceived. An attempted slog-sweep took the edge and looped up where captain Virat Kohli took it. A decisive blow was struck.
And it was the wicket where things turned. The run rate stabilised and England were kept on a leash. Roy missed Ravindra Jadeja’s straighter ball and saw his stumps dismantled. Ben Stokes, England’s enforcer, edged one onto his middle stump. Five overs later, Ashwin took out Jos Buttler, helped by some smart glovework by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. England’s high-flying middle order had been grounded.
It was a replica of the Test series in a way. Ashwin got the wickets: He finished with 3/65 at the end. But Jadeja’s contribution was understated but equally effective. He bowled his entire quota of overs in one uninterrupted spell, putting the brakes on England’s scoring and finishing with figures of 1/45. In a match where close to 750 runs were scored, it was gold dust.
England’s hope lay in Eoin Morgan who battled hard but just could do not it alone. He joined hands with Moeen Ali to take his team to 269/5 in 40 overs, England still needing 113 to win in the last 10 balls. Ali lost his stumps after a 43-ball 55 as England’s asking rate kept increasing.
A flurry of rash shots ensued in desperation as England looked to drag it till the end. Eoin Morgan stroked his way to a century with some brutal late hitting, but India ultimately held their nerve to take the match by 15 runs and with it, the series.
India 381/6 in 50 overs (Yuvraj Singh 150, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 134; Chris Woakes 4/60, Liam Plunkett 2/91) beat England 366/8 in 50 overs (Eoin Morgan 102, Jason Roy 82; Ravichandran Ashwin 3/65, Jasprit Bumrah 2/81) by 15 runs