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19-Jan-2017 15:20:00 GMT
India v England, 2nd ODI, Cuttack

Yuvraj, Dhoni tons lead India to series win

Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni shares 256-run partnership for fourth wickets at Cuttack.
Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni shares 256-run partnership for fourth wickets at Cuttack.

Cuttack: Brilliant centuries from Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni gave India a series-clinching 15-run win over England, despite Morgan 102 at Cuttack on Thursday.

The final swing of a match that featured 747 runs, 19 sixes and 81 fours took place in its penultimate over when Jasprit Bumrah held his nerve to run Morgan out for 102 while he was backing up to get back on strike.

Eoin Morgan made an 80-ball hundred, Jason Roy, Joe Root and Moeen Ali all made half-centuries, but England ended 366-8 to be 2-0 down with one to play.

Despite England's recent improvement in one-day cricket, they still have not won a series in this country since 1984-85 and have lost 21 of their past 25 ODIs against India in India.

An unlikely chase was not out of the question on an ideal batting surface, only for India's spinners to run through the England top order, with the late hitting of Morgan not enough in the face of the home attack's greater nous.

England were not fazed by what would have been their highest successful run chase in ODIs, with Root and Roy sharing a stand of 100 that kept the tourists ahead of the curve.

However, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, England's tormentor during their 4-0 Test series defeat, had Root sky a sweep, bowled Ben Stokes and had Buttler stumped down the leg side, while spin partner Ravindra Jadeja found turn to bowl Roy.

Still England pressed on, captain Morgan returning to form with sixes over long-on and long-off, and Moeen's leg-side scoring bringing him a 40-ball half-century.

When Moeen dragged on to his stumps off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it looked to be a fatal blow to England's chances, but Morgan kept them alive in a fifty partnership with Plunkett that came in only 24 balls.

The Irishman reached his ninth ODI ton only to be run out by bowler Jasprit Bumrah when backing up too far, taking England's hopes with him as he departed.

Falling short by 15 in a game of 747 runs, England will reflect on a bowling effort that was too expensive and top-order batting that failed to capitalise on a strong position.

Earlier, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned back the clock to spank blistering centuries and lift India to a formidable 381 for six.

The 35-year-old Yuvraj made his highest ever ODI score as he reached 150 while former captain Dhoni made 134 as the pair put on 256 runs in a record fourth-wicket stand against England.

India, who were put into bat after losing the toss, had been in trouble after their captain Virat Kohli was dismissed cheaply to leave the score at 25 for three.

But Yuvraj and Dhoni then set about the English bowling attack with relish, delighting a sell-out crowd at Cuttack's Barabati Stadium.

Fast bowler Chris Woakes, who took four wickets, was the pick of the England bowlers and he claimed the prized scalp of Kohli for eight.

With openers Lokesh Rahul (five) and Shikhar Dhawan (11) also back in the pavilion, the task of reviving the innings then fell to India's two most experienced batsmen.

The left-handed Yuvraj, who is making a comeback in the ODI side after a gap of three years, whacked three boundaries off a Jake Ball over to signal his intent early in his innings.

Yuvraj who last scored a hundred against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup, recorded his 14th ODI century as he smacked 21 fours and 3 sixes in a 127-ball knock.

Dhoni had a relatively sedate start, seeing out two maidens before boosting his confidence with a couple of boundaries.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who survived a dropped catch on 43, made the most of the reprieve to post his 10th ODI hundred as he hit 10 fours and 6 sixes.

Yuvraj was caught behind off Woakes while Dhoni fell to Liam Plunkett but their departure was scant consolation to the England bowlers who were all carted around the park.

Brief scores
India -
381 for 6 (Yuvraj 150, Dhoni 134, Woakes 4-60)
England - 366 for 8 (Morgan 102, Roy 82, Ali 55, Root 54, Ashwin 3-65)
Result - India won by 15 runs

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