England weathers Jadhav effort, snatches a spectacular win

Kedar Jadhav raised the possibility of a spectacular win for India with a splendid batting effort, but Chris Woakes disciplined bowling in the death helped England snatch victory by five runs in the third and final ODI here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Kedar Jadhav

Kedar Jadhav scored 90 off 75 balls — including 12 boundaries and a six.   -  Reuters

Kedar Jadhav raised the possibility of a spectacular win for India with a splendid batting effort, but Chris Woakes disciplined bowling in the death helped England snatch victory by five runs in the third and final ODI here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

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Jadhav, who is emerging as a finisher for India, fell short of completing his task this time, stumbling in the last moment when India needed six runs off four balls. Jadhav hit a six and a boundary in successive balls in the final over of Woakes. However, he could not get the next six runs as Woakes bowled four successive dot balls — which also included Jadhav’s wicket — to register a thrilling win for England. This was England’s first ODI win at Eden Gardens, where it had lost all the previous three appearances, as the series ended 2-1 in favour of India.

Jadhav, who scored 120 in Pune and helped India win in the first match, scored 90 off 75 balls — including 12 boundaries and a six — to haul India out of a hopeless situation and take it very close to realising a win. Hardik Pandya joined Jadhav in his effort as the two added 104 runs for the sixth-wicket, when all the top names of the batting order were back in the pavilion.

England’s pace battery rocked the Indian resolve right from the start as the host altered its opening partnership bringing in Ajinkya Rahane in place of Shikhar Dhawan. Rahane failed to justify his selection walking back to the pavilion in the second over. Unsettled by the early jolt, the other Indian opener K. L. Rahul continued to flounder with his batting with his captain, Virat Kohli, joined him in the centre.

Looking to push the scoring, Kohli stepped up the run rate with some good hitting. But, that failed to give the requisite confidence to Rahul, who mistimed an intended pull and ended up top-edgeing it to England wicketkeeper Jos Butler. Kohli, joined by Yuvraj Singh, tried to resurrect the run chase.

The Indian captain, who scored a match-winning 122 in the first match at Pune, played some good shots in company of Yuvraj, who played on despite getting hit on the ribcage by a delivery from Jake Ball in the 10th over. Kohli was dropped in the 13th over by Ball in the long leg when he tried to hit Liam Plunket over the rope, and continued to time the ball well and reached his 50 in an unusually patient manner. The Indian captain finally departed at 55 (63b, 4x8) in the 20th over when Ben Stokes got him slashing outside off stump as Butler grabbed the catch.

Yuvraj, hardly looking the devastating self that saw him reach the career-best 150 in the previous match at Cuttack, got out at 45 (57b, 5x4, 1x6). He was caught in the deep midwicket. M.S. Dhoni (25) could not do much either when he edged one to Buttler to usher in the partnership of Jadhav and Pandya.

Earlier, England sailed on its batting strength to score 321 for eight after Indian captain invited the visitors to bat on winning the toss. Jason Roy, the most prolific of the England batsmen in the series, played true to his character, picking up the Indian pacers — Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah — for runs. Playing in company of Sam Billings, Roy forged a partnership of 98 runs that set the base for a big score. Roy scored 65 (56b, 4x10, 1x6) to aggregate a total of 220 runs at an average of 73.33 to end the series as the best batsman for England in the series.

England captain Eoin Morgan took ahead the run compilation with a breezy 43 in company of Johnny Bairstow (56). Morgan and Bairstow were involved in 84-run partnership for the third-wicket. Ben Stokes (57 not out, 39b, 4x4, 2x6) and Chris Woakes (34) raised a veritable hurricane pairing in a 73-run partnership that took the 321 for eight.