Rishabh Pant’s maiden ODI century and Hardik Pandya’s all-round performance guided India to win the series-deciding India vs England 3rd ODI match by 5 wickets. Chasing a target of 260 runs raised by England, India sealed the ODI series 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
India decided to bowl after winning the toss. With skipper Jos Butler’s 80-ball 60, and the opener Jason Roy’s 41, England bowled out for 259 in 45.5 overs. Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root again failed to find a place on the scoreboard.
For India, Hardik Pandya’s career-best 4/24 and Yuzvendra Chahal’s 3/60 added to the victory by sending out a warning to team England. Mohammed Siraj struck twice in the same over as he dismissed Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root back-to-back and give dominance to team India. Jadeja broke the partnership between Jos Butler and Moeen Ali, by dismissing Ali on 34. Pandya dismissed captain Jos Butler and Liam Livingstone in the 37th over.
Regarding batting, India was in a spot of bother at 72 for four after captain Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli went out without creating an impression. Rishabh Pant walked in after Rohit was bowled out by Reece Topley in the fifth over when India was 21/2. Kohli and Yadav went out soon and the responsibility to take India to the finish line rested in Pant.
In a chase of 260, the unbeatable partnership of Pant and Pandya rescued team India to win the series by adding a total of 133 runs for the 5th wicket. The pair chased down the target with ease. Hardik was dismissed in the middle with 71 runs, but Pant remained unbeaten on 125 by 113 balls, smashing his magnificent 1st ODI century. Pant’s back-to-back boundaries in the final overs, without wasting any time, led India to chase down the target sparing 47 balls. Pant showed his extraordinary skills with the bat with his 16 boundaries and became the Player-of-the-match.
While reacting at the post-match presentation, Pant said, “Hopefully I’ll remember this for the rest of my life, But at the same time when I was in, I was not thinking anything, I was just trying to focus on one ball at a time which pays off well for our team. When your team is under pressure and you bat like that – actually that is something I always aspire to. To do well in pressure situations. Hopefully I did well today and helped my team to cross the line”.
Power-packed Pandya became an unavoidable part of team India with his exceptional performance with bat and ball. Pandya’s 4 wickets and 71 runs in the single match tormented team England in all forms and became the Player-of-the-series. With his recent form, he will surely be an asset to team India in the coming T20 World Cup.
This is the first-century stand for the pair Pant & Pandya. Their previous best was with the same opposition in 2021 at Pune, where they scored 99 runs from 11.4 overs that led to the 7-run victory. Regarding the Pant-Pandya partnership, captain Rohit Sharma said, “I am quite pleased with both of them. They were quite clinical with the bat. At no given point of time they were panicking and trying to do something different. They just kept backing themselves and played cricketing shots all the way through.”
India’s tour of England ended on a positive note that India won both the T20 and ODI titles while the Test series ended in a draw. With the upcoming T20 World Cup, team India experimented most of its talents in the matches. Later this month, a pack of players is flying to West Indies for the coming India vs West Indies ODI series, starting on July 22. Team England is under pressure to revisit their strategies before the World Cup with all capable players under the same roof.
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