India vs England 3rd ODI: Stokes’ all-round performance hands England consolation win

Stokes excelled with both the bat and ball

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Ben Stokes hammered an unbeaten 57 and took three wickets to lead England to a thrilling five-run win over India in the third ODI in Kolkata.

For England, it was their first win in the country stretching back as far as the five-Test series, which they lost 4-0.

India captain Virat Kohli would have been brooding over his decision to bowl first as England got off to a brilliant start courtesy of a 98-run partnership between Jason Roy and Sam Billings, during which Roy brought up his half-century.

Billings ended up falling for 35, while Roy went on to make 65 off 56 balls, which included 10 boundaries and a six, before he was clean bowled by Ravindra Jadeja.

Jonny Bairstow and captain Eoin Morgan stabilised the innings with an 84-run stand before Morgan was sent packing by Hardik Pandya for 43.

England began to lose wickets at regular intervals following Morgan’s dismissal, which included that of Bairstow, who made 56 off 64 balls, which included five boundaries and a six.

Bairstow scored his third ODI fifty

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Stokes and Chris Woakes steered the innings back in the right direction with a 73-run partnership before Woakes for run out by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 34.

Stokes, on the other hand, remained beaten on 57 off 39 deliveries, which included four boundaries and two sixes, as England finished on 321/8 off their 50 overs.

Pandya was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Jadeja snapped up two and Jasprit Bumrah chipped in with one.

Chasing 322 to win, India were dealt two quick blows early on as openers Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul were dismissed for one and 11 respectively.

Kohli and Yuvraj Singh kept England at bay for a while with a 65-run partnership, during which Kohli registered his half-century, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Stokes for 55 off 63 balls, which included eight boundaries.

Kohli became the fastest captain to make 1000 ODI runs

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Yuvraj was removed by Liam Plunkett for 45, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell for 25.

With India suddenly finding themselves in a spot of bother at 173/5, Kedar Jadhav and Pandya came to the rescue with a 104-run partnership.

Both batsmen surpassed their fifties, but Pandya was clean bowled for a 43-ball 56 by Stokes shortly after.

Pandya struck four boundaries and two sixes during his knock of 56

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Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin failed to have an impact with the bat, while Jadhav’s valiant innings of 90, which came off 75 balls and included 12 boundaries and a six, went in vain as India fell just short of their target.

Jadhav made a gutsy 90

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Stokes was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Woakes and Jake Ball took two wickets apiece. Plunkett and David Willey, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each.

Kohli tasted defeat for the first time as captain after a 19-game unbeaten streak, and said: “Definitely, its been a series of positives even today, 173 for 5, two youngsters step up and almost get us through the line, fighting back against good quality fast bowlers. It was a great demo for the Champions Trophy.

“Jadhav is brilliant find for us. We’ve backed him over the last year, he hasn’t had many games, but he is coming into his own, he gives Yuvi and Dhoni the chance to bat higher and he reads the game well, its priceless and Hardik is coming into his own as an all-rounder as well.

“The moment I saw the pitch I thought it was the perfect scenario for the Champions Trophy. The batsman had to show character and getting as close as five runs gives us a lot of confidence. The key for us will be the lengths we bowl. We’ve been playing at home for a while. Even here we weren’t sure. That’s one area we would look to address, what are the areas we need to hit to get batsmen out.”

Morgan was glad to have gained a consolation win, and said: “Finally, it’s been hard work in a very competitive series. Today we were rewarded for our persistent drive to win. It was similar to an English wicket and when you lose the toss, you have to do it the hard way and the dew was very tough to deal with.

“Jason Roy and Sam Billings did well at the top of the order for us. The bowlers make the captain look good. Giving a wicket that offered more helped them and actually rewarded them for good, discipline line and length. We were always open to what we wanted to do. The bowler has his options as well. The first couple of balls went for six and four, but his third and fourth deliveries were on the money and like I said, we did it the hard way. I think because there was bounce and carry, when you hit a good length, there was something on offer. So we encouraged them to hit the wicket hard and try and extract anything in there.

“Huge positives. India outplayed us in the first two games but this win was important. You can try hard but without wins it damages the team’s confidence”

Stokes was named Man of the Match, and said: “It was a difficult time last time we came here, put it down to good captaincy from Morgan getting my overs out of the way before the end. Billings has got a safe pair of hands, and most people have them. Always backing him to catch that.

“It was difficult to start, the ball was not necessarily going through the top, but it was going a bit. Just want to start well and capitalise, Woakesy played a good hand as well. There’s always dew here, it’s tough for the bowlers to hit their straps. We’ve waited a long time to win on this tour, think we forgot to be honest. It’s been fantastic to be part of three really tight games and thankfully we ended up with a win for England.”

Jadhav was named Man of the Series, and said: “I was planning to play all six balls, I knew if I could do that the bowler will be under pressure. Just that the ball I got out to, I was not in position to hit the big shot, I was still moving and that is why I mistimed.

“The thing is, since the time I came in the team, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Dhoni and it has helped me deal with situations calmly. Specially if you pitch it up there was some movement and that is why I didn’t want to come forward, I wanted to stay back and with the dew, I knew normal shots will get me boundaries.

“First game when I was in the middle, with Virat, this is the time where you can learn how to finish games and that is what I told Hardik as well. If we play to our potential through the end, we would win. I was more happy if we would have won this game but I am satisfied with what I have done in this series. I can still improve.”

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