England set India a target of 247 as they tried to avoid a Royal London Series defeat on the third anniversary of their World Cup win at Lord’s.
England have just surpassed the 241 they made in the unforgettable 2019 final, a score that was enough to draw the match with New Zealand and force a decisive super over, but were second favorites midway through the stage after being checked by tourists.
Moeen Ali top-scored with 47 from number seven, but was denied a first half-century in nearly five years when she fell to Yuzvendra Chahal. The left arm wrist twist took four for 47, claiming the key top-order trio of Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes.
After capitulating for 110 at the Kia Oval 48 hours earlier, England were once again asked to bat first and soon saw Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah hitting regularly at bat. Jason Roy, whose place on the side has begun to be questioned, saw Shami get past the outside edge of him on a handful of occasions and then Bumrah went inside.
He was starting to shape his response, forcing a couple of shots into the infield and stepping on the leg to spot Shami for six, when he gave it away. All-rounder Hardik Pandya had just come on the attack and hit Bairstow in the rib, when Roy (23) sent a smooth leg strike directly to the receiver in deep box.
At 46 for one from the power play, England at least had a base to work from, with Bairstow capitalizing on some friendly short balls.
That’s when Chahal entered the equation and took control. Bairstow was the first to succumb to a run-a-ball 38, targeting a Thoroughbred slog-sweep into the stands but seeing a flatter delivery skid in the middle of the stump.
Root, England’s top spin player, also came undone in the air, sweeping one too early that was thrown a bit higher and lbw for 11.
Stokes seemed to have found a method when he threw two reverse wrist sweeps to the ropes, but went into the same pit a third time and took a clean hit to the back leg in front of the middle.
Shami had also returned to contribute to England’s woes, cleaning up captain Jos Buttler’s fifth ball with a swinging, full-on shot that was just too good. Having reached the crease at 102 for five, Moeen was involved in the two biggest stands in England, scoring 46 with Liam Livingstone and 62 with David Willey.
Livingstone made 33 before his attacking instincts got the better of him, receiving three successive short balls from Pandya. The first was finned by six, the second pulled by four and the third scooped directly to deep midwicket.
Moeen picked her moments a little better, hitting a couple of big sixes, including one from Prasidh Krishna that cleared the stands, but also looking for gaps. Willey offered useful support, making the most of knockdowns on one and 24, but neither could pull it off.
Moeen’s hopes of the top fifty since 2017 ended when he holed out, Chahal capped off his excellent day, while Willey bowled Bumrah to the ground for 41. Brydon Carse and Reece Topley were both dismissed for death.