Ind vs Eng, 3rd ODI: Pant and Shardul’s heroics help India win by 7 runs, clinch series 2-1

Sam Curran’s unbeaten knock of 95 runs went in vain as a spirited bowling performance by India helped the hosts to defeat England by seven runs in the third and final ODI here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday evening.
With this win, India has clinched the three-match series 2-1. Virat Kohli-led side has now won all the series’ in this England’s tour of India. India claimed the Test series 3-1 and then won the five-match T20I series by 3-2.

In the last four overs, England has required 41 runs while hosts just needed two wickets to win the series decider.
Curran accumulated 18 runs off the 47th over, needing just 23 runs off the last three overs. In the 48th over, Bhuvneshwar just gave four runs and almost a wicket of Wood, the decision was overturned by the third umpire after England took DRS. For India, Thakur bagged four wickets while Bhuvneshwar clinched three scalps.

Hardik came in to bowl the penultimate over of the match. India lost two back-to-back opportunities to dismiss Wood and Curran as first Shardul and then T Natarajan dropped the high catches.
Visitors were required 14 off the last six balls with Curran on strike. Natarajan bowled the final over for India. Curran played the yorker towards long-on and in search of two runs Wood (14) got run out.

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Race Topley joined Curran in the middle and took a single on the first ball. Curran denied runs on the next two balls and it was enough for India to claim the match despite Curran smashed the boundary on the fifth ball.
England scored 322/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Curran remained unbeaten on 95 runs including three sixes and nine fours.
Chasing a giant target of 330, England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow failed to give a steady start to the side and both the top-order batters were sent back to the pavilion by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first three overs of the innings. Bhuvneshwar got hold of Roy (14) in the first over while in the third over he removed Bairstow (1).
Two new batsmen Ben Stokes and Dawid Malan came out in the middle. The duo played cautiously and kept the scoreboard moving.

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya dropped Stokes at mid-on in the fifth over of the innings. Bhuvneshwar was denied his third wicket. But the 40-run danger-looking partnership for the third wicket was put to an end by pacer T Natarajan as he dismissed Stokes (35). After Stokes’ dismissal, England was at 68/3 in 10.3 overs.
Skipper Jos Buttler came in to bat at number five. Buttler along with Malan steer the side towards total and the duo had a brief 27-run stand for the fourth wicket.

This time it was Shardul Thakur who bagged Buttler (15) in the 16th over and put the visitors under pressure.
Buttler’s wicket saw Liam Livingstone’s arrival in the middle. Malan and Livingstone played attacking cricket and started taking charge of the Indian bowlers.
The duo added 60-run for the fifth wicket partnership. Malan and Livingstone guided the side to the 150-run mark. In the 24th over, Thakur caught swashbuckling batsman Livingstone (36) on his own bowling and gave the much-needed breakthrough to the side.

Moeen Ali came in to bat at number seven. Meanwhile, Malan completed his half-century, and just after that Rohit caught him at short mid-wicket off Thakur. Malan scored fifty off 50 balls including six fours.
India was in total control of the match after sending the top-five English batters back to the hut under 24 overs.
Malan’s wicket saw Sum Curran joining Ali in the middle. The duo tried the kept the scoreboard ticking with a decent run-rate. They added 32-run off 31 balls before Hardik got hold of Ali (29) in the 30th over.

Ali departed after scoring 29 runs studded with two sixes and as many fours.
Adil Rashid and Curran build a 57-run partnership but it could only delay England’s defeat as Thakur got the better of the former in the 40th over, reducing the side to 257/8 in 39.2 overs.
Skipper Virat Kohli took a stunner at the cover as he dived to his left and plunges superbly to grab the ball. Rashid departed after scoring 19 runs.

Wood arrived at the crease after Rashid’s dismissal. Wood and Curran kept the fight alive as Curran looked confident in the middle and completed his half-century. Curran played an anchor role and remained unbeaten with 95 runs but failed to put his side over the line.
Earlier, India’s batting unit displayed a change of approach and this ensured that despite losing wickets at regular intervals, the hosts posted a total of 329.

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Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Shikhar Dhawan registered fifty-plus scores as India set a 330-run target for the visitors. From the very start, every Indian batter came out playing aggressively and this saw the hosts scoring runs at seven runs per over for the major part of the innings.
Put into bat, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started right from the word go and played with more intent, compared to the previous two games. The duo put on 100 runs for the first wicket inside 14 overs, but as the partnership started looking ominous, Rohit (37) ended up losing his wicket to Adil Rashid in the 15th over of the innings. Soon after, Dhawan (67) and Kohli (7) were also sent back to the dressing room, reducing the hosts to 121/3 in the 18th over.

Dhawan was dismissed by Rashid while Kohli was clean bowled by Moeen Ali. This brought Pant and KL Rahul together at the crease and the duo put on 36 runs for the fourth wicket. However, the partnership was cut short by Liam Livingstone in the 25th over as he dismissed Rahul (7), reducing India to 157/4.
Pandya then joined Pant in the middle and both batters took a special liking to the England spinners. The 99-run stand for the fifth wicket between the duo saw both batters hammering the England bowlers and India looked set for a mammoth total.

However, the visitors got the wicket of Pant (78) in the 36th over. The left-handed batsman tried to work the ball to the on-side but ended up getting an edge, and skipper Buttler took a one-handed blinder. Soon after, Hardik (64) was bowled around his stumps, and India was reduced to 276/6 in the 39th over and the major workload relied upon his brother Krunal.
In the final overs, Shardul Thakur provided support to Krunal and the duo took India’s score past the 300-run mark. Shardul was dismissed after contributing with a valuable 30 and the hosts were not able to score runs freely after that, eventually getting bowled out for 329.
Brief Scores: India 329 all out (Rishabh Pant 78, Shikhar Dhawan 67; Mark Wood 3-34); England 322/9 in 50 overs (Sam Curran 95*, Dawid Malan 50, Liam Livingstone 36; Shardul Thakur 4-67, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-42).