India rode on Hardik Pandya’s all-round heroics and Rishabh Pant’s fantastic ODI hundred to beat England by 5 wickets in Manchester and win the three-match ODI series 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Chasing 260 for victory, India were off to a poor start as the tourists lost skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for 17 runs each after Reece Topley removed both experienced batters. Before Rohit and Virat, Shikhar Dhawan fell prey to Topley in the first 2.1 over of the innings.
Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant tried to keep the momentum going for the visitors, taking their team’s score past the 50-run mark in the 12th over of the innings. However, Craig Overton gave India a big blow as he dismissed Suryakumar, who had scored 16 runs in 28 deliveries.
Rishabh Pant then joined hands with Hardik Pandya, who took charge with a fluent 71 off 55 balls. Both Pandya and Pant added 133 runs for the fifth wicket to set up a series-clinching win, with Pant going on to score his maiden ODI hundred after Pandya fell to a spectacular catch by Ben Stokes off the bowling of Brydon Carse.
India’s explosive batter Pant guided them home with 47 balls to spare by reverse-sweeping Joe Root for four, after he smashed David Willey for five boundaries in the previous over.
Hardik’s career-best 4/24 helped India bowl out England for 259 with more than four overs to spare in the series decider after Rohit made a bold move to field first given that eight of the last nine games at Old Trafford have been won by teams batting first.
Skipper Jos Buttler was England’s top-scorer with an 80-ball 60, but it was the flamboyant all-rounder from Gujarat, who dominated the first half of the match with his excellent bowling, sending out a warning to the opponents in the year of the T20 World Cup.
Playing in place of the injured Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj got a massive confidence boost early on, when he dismissed Jonny Bairstow with his third ball of the day. As the England opener shaped up to play it on the leg-side, the bat turned in his hand and the ball ballooned to Shreyas Iyer at mid-off following a leading edge.
His tails up, Siraj then ran into bowl to the prolific Joe Root, got the ball to move away, and the outside edge was nicely taken by skipper Rohit Sharma at second slip. Siraj, in fact, squared Root up with his late movement.
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