Reece Topley took 6/24 as England squared the ODI series with India, comfortably defending a modest total of 246 to seal a 100-run victory.
England, who were skittled for 110 in the opening match of the series, would’ve been fearing a repeat as they stumbled to 102/5 at Lord’s, but Moeen Ali posted 49 as the hosts dug in to post a competitive total.
Topley then claimed a record six-for as England bounced back from their crushing loss on Tuesday, setting up Sunday’s deciding third match.
The victory will serve as a shot in the arm for both Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott, who have endured a difficult start to life heading up England’s white-ball side.
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Match prediction: India to clinch the series
England may have won the second ODI against India, but the way in which the batting order collapsed for the second successive match will have set alarm bells ringing for Buttler and Mott.
The recent success of England’s 50-over side has been characterised by an aggressive batting style, meaning the World Cup holders are usually confident of outscoring their opponents no matter how big the target. However, big-hitters Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes might be back in the fold but their white-ball rustiness is clear as both contest their first 50-over series of 2022.
It was actually down to England’s bowlers to keep this series alive at Lord’s. They went in looking particularly light in this area, but Topley delivered the best figures by an England bowler in ODIs to clinch a victory that looked improbable at the halfway stage. It’s hard to imagine the bowling unit delivering again if England’s batters don’t play their part.
Perhaps England’s tendency towards the chase has hindered their batting in this series — they have twice been put into bat — meaning a successful toss could change the course of the decider. But, given the strength of India’s bowling attack, the tourists will be confident of responding positively to Thursday’s setback.