Leeds, Sep 5 :
England’s Joe Root struck a fine century on his home ground to take the hosts to a competitive total of 294 for seven in the fifth one-day international against India at Headingley here Friday.
With the series already lost 0-3, this is England’s only chance to salvage some pride and Root’s brilliant innings of 113 from 108 balls has given the home side an edge in the contest.
Captain Alastair Cook (46) and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (49) also came up with useful innings after England lost two wickets in the first seven overs.
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami got two for 52 while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina got a wicket each.
England found themselves on the backfoot as Indian seamers sent Alex Hales (4) and Moeen Ali (9) back to the pavilion early.
Cook had some nervous moments, edging twice through the slips, while Root samshed five boundaries as he raced to his first 22 runs in no time. Cook finally ran out of luck with the introduction of spin as he attempted sweep at Raina and looped into Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gloves.
The spinners tied down the run flow and in 18 overs of spin they could muster only 66-2.
However, Root went on with his business as usual and with Buttler put on a century stand (108), England’s first of the series, for the fifth wicket. They scored 55 without loss in the batting powerplay – including five fours and three sixes.
At a time when the partnership looked dangerous, Buttler ran himself out as he attempted an impossible single after padding the ball no more than two feet away from Dhoni.
It was Shami, who finally dismissed Root, who flicked a catch to short fine-leg but a cameo from Ben Stokes (33 not out from 23 balls) took England to a challenging total.