It was another cracker of a match between two of the best teams in ODIs as England fell short by mere 7 runs as India had the last laugh by winning the 3-match ODI series to 2-1.
Both teams gave their level best in the decider but it was the home team which had the last laugh . Batting first India posted another formidable total of 329 runs on the board due to half centuries from Dhawan, Hardik and Rishabh . The foundation was laid by the Indian openers as the duo of Rohit and Dhawan added 103 runs for the first wicket . Dhawan made a quick 67(56) and gave India the perfect start with Rohit (37). But India lost 4 quick wickets against the run of play which put them on the back foot .
But much to India’s rescue, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya held a 99 run match changing partnership which changed the course of the match. Rishabh made a quick fire 78(62) which was filled with innovative shots . Hardik played an impactful and powerful innings of 64(44) which included 5 fours and 4 sixes and was phenomenal in his stroke play. Towards the end, Shardul Thakur played a very handy cameo of 30 (21) which powered the Indian innings to a respectable total. Mark Wood was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped 3 wickets.
In reply , England lost both the inform openers early as Bhuveneshwar Kumar provided India with the breakthroughs. Dangerous Ben Stokes who was in great touch was dropped by Hardik but much to India’s relief, he too departed after a quick span of time . England were 200-7 at one stage and many thought that the match was done and dusted . But it was a turnaround for the visitors as the English lower order of Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid fought back in style . A 57-run partnership between Curran and Rashid kept England in the hunt and gave India a possibility of a series defeat.
It was Sam Curran who took the attack to the opposition as he kept the Hopes alive for England. He took calculated risks with the tail enders and hit the odd boundary. With just 16 runs required in the last over, England fancied their chances with Curran in the middle but Natarajan bowled an excellent last over which sealed the match and the series for India. Curran remained unbeaten on a magnificent 95 but it was not enough to take his team over the line . It was a special innings and great effort from Curran which will be remembered for a long time, and rightly he was judged as the man of the match. Shardul Thakur yet again impressed with the bowl as he picked regular wicket in the middle overs and finished with figures of 4/67.
It was a nail biting finish to a series decider with both teams throwing their best and not ready to give up in a battle full of ups and downs . It was a series clean sweep for India as they won the test series, T20Is and the ODIs. Meanwhile, England will be gutted as they came so close to winning games on numerous occasions in the white ball games but will have plenty of positive to take from this tour.
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