England Come Up Short In Cuttack Despite Brilliant Eoin Morgan 100
Eoin Morgan's defiant century was not enough to prevent England losing the second one-day international against India, who sealed the series with a 15-run victory in Cuttack.
England captain Eoin Morgan: "It's tremendously disappointing to get so close and not get over the line." [ ][ ][ ]
Morgan's bullish 102 in 81 balls answered questions about his continued value to the side emphatically but it was not enough to keep pace with the hosts, who saw Yuvraj Singh (150) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (134) rolled back the years with magnificent tons of their own.
It was another bruising day for the bowlers, India's old favourites rescuing them from 25 for three to 381 for six and the tourists making their highest ever second innings score of 366 for eight.
England's captain Eoin Morgan
A 256-run stand between Yuvraj and Dhoni effectively settled things in the home side's favour and came with added significance for the 35-year-old duo - Yuvraj reaching three figures for the first time since the triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign and Dhoni showing he would not be entirely ceding the spotlight to Virat Kohli just yet.
Game set and Match [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
For England the margins are clear: for the second time in four days they have failed to capitalise on early wickets, this time by the impressive Chris Woakes, and they trail the century count 4-1.
Jason Roy, Joe Root and Moeen Ali all backed up Morgan with half-centuries but with parameters shifting at this pace, even more is required on docile surfaces.
Furthermore the selection gamble of dropping Adil Rashid did not come off, with his replacement Liam Plunkett shipping 91 runs.
5️⃣0️⃣ for [ ][
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By the time the end came it was almost impossible to recall the probing discipline of Woakes' first five-over spell, during which he took out KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and England's bogeyman Kohli while conceding a meagre 13 runs.
Kohli has feasted on English bowlers all winter but lasted only five balls as he nibbled at a full outswinger and was brilliantly caught at second slip by Ben Stokes.
England had already been rewarded for posting a second catcher in the cordon, Stokes stooping to take Rahul, but their plans came to nothing against the calm control of Yuvraj and Dhoni.
Yuvraj was dominant with 35 of their first 50 runs and 73 of their first 100.
Dhoni saved his bullying best for later, eventually smashing six sixes, but for now was happy to watch his partner's powerful pulls and fulsome drives.
A majestic 100 for [ ][
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Yuvraj's most pleasing strokes disappeared for six and four over extra-cover but it took a jogged single to end his long wait between his 13th and 14th ODI tons.
He next had his sights on the 139 he scored in Sydney 13 years ago and duly passed that by dispatching Stokes straight down the ground.
Dhoni's innings started more slowly and had its dicey moments - Jake Ball ushering a difficult chance over the boundary on 43, an edge past the keeper on 49 - but as England became more ragged he found his full arsenal.
Immediately after thumping a Woakes full toss into the overhead Spidercam, leading to a dead ball signal, he launched one over the advertising boards at long-off.
He hit top gear with three sixes in five Plunkett deliveries only to fall in pursuit of another.
100 for MS Dhoni! His 10th in ODIs with 9 fours & 3 sixes. India 281-3 off 42.5 overs [ ][ ][ ]
Alex Hales was an early casualty of the daunting target but Roy and Root gave the England innings legs with a busy partnership worth exactly 100 at better than a run a ball.
Root (54) was first to go, stretching too far on the sweep to give Ravichandran Ashwin success with his fifth delivery.
Roy motored on to 82 and seemed primed for more when he stepped to leg and lost his off stump to Ashwin.
Morgan was at the crease by then but the cheap dismissals of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler by Ashwin put him in charge of a sinking ship.
5️⃣0️⃣ for the skipper [ ][ ][ ][ ]
He joined Moeen (55) to wipe 93 from the deficit but when the latter's luck ran out courtesy of an inside edge off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it was a one-man mission.
Morgan put his recent bad form behind him to keep things just about credible - 113 off the last 10 overs boiled down to 33 off the last two - but it was not to be.
After striking five sixes and eight fours his departure came with a whimper at the non-striker's end, https://studiovideochatiasi.ro/index.php?action=profile;u=5945 run out backing up.
A fine effort from England, who end on 366-8.
India win by 15 runs & go 2-0 up in the three-match series [ ][ ][ ]
The cause, and the series, was lost but not without a considerable fight and more brilliant entertainment from two fearless sides.