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England beats India in 5th ODI to avoid whitewash

September 5, 2014

LEEDS, England (AP) — England avoided a whitewash by India in their one-day series by winning the fifth and final match by 41 runs on Friday mainly thanks to Joe Root’s 113 on his home ground.

India won the series 3-1. The first ODI was washed out.

Powered by Root’s second ODI century, England posted 294-7 after being put into bat at Headingley to give the world champions a challenging target for the first time in this lopsided series.

Ajinkya Rahane (0) and Virat Kohli (13) fell cheaply to James Anderson early in the reply before Moeen Ali’s offspin accounted for Shikhar Dhawan (31) and Suresh Raina (18), leaving India on 91-4 and well behind the run rate.

Ambati Rayudu’s 53 and some big late hits from Ravindra Jadeja, who struck a career-best 87 off 68 balls, merely delayed India’s demise for 253.

“I think we gave away too many wickets,” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. “There were a lot of soft dismissals.”

Asked whether India lacked motivation with the series already clinched, Dhoni said: “That may have been the case. That’s one area where we have to improve.”

The victory may not quieten calls for Alastair Cook to quit as England captain ahead of the long buildup to next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The team has now lost five straight ODI series at home.

But it at least allowed England to end a miserable series on a high, showing what could have happened if India had been put under more pressure.

“We’ve got a lot of 20s and 30s this series,” Cook said. “It’s the first time we have seen one of our guys get a hundred and it gives you a target to defend.”

Root looked comfortable on his home strip in Yorkshire, hitting 10 fours and three sixes as he raced along at more than a run a ball. He put on a fifth-wicket stand of 108 with Jos Buttler (49 off 40 balls), ensuring there was no repeat of previous England collapses in this series.

England had earlier been reduced to 117-4 in 29 overs, again being tied down by India’s trio of spinners.

Allrounder Ben Stokes weighed in with 33 off 23 balls late on as the Indian attack was posed questions for the first time in the series.

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