India beat England by 7 runs, clinch ODI series 2-1

Wednesday 31st March 2021 07:02 EDT

In a nail-biting finale of the series, India beat England by 7 runs to win the series 2-1. While England cricket team kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, it was Sam Curran who had different plans. He kept in smashing Indian bowlers all over the park and kept the hopes alive. Dawid Malan hit a valuable maiden 50 to help Sam. However, no other batsman could hang around with him. India's poor fielding helped England. Four catches went down and a couple of run out chances went begging. Sam Curran scored his career-best 95 not out but could not help his team get over the line. With this the long India-England tour comes to an end. India managed to win all the series - Test 3-1, ODI 3-2, T20 2-1.

Earlier, openers Sharma and Dhawan had given India a strong start. Having put to bat by England after losing the toss, India needed to get a firm start in this crucial final match, being played at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. This final tie of the three-ODI series is important, as the series stands levelled 1-1. While India had beaten England convincingly in the first match, England had bounced back to register a thumping win in the run fest of the second match.

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya built a 99-run partnership and kept the run rate over 7 an over. Both Hardik and Rishabh hit their half-centuries, however, both were dismissed in quick succession. Krunal and Shardul Thakur tried to keep the scoreboard ticking. In the end, India was all out for 329 in 48.2 overs.

England chase 337 with ease

A match-winning partnership of 175 runs in 113 balls by Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes was all that England needed to chase down 337 runs and beat India by 6 wickets and to level the three match ODI series in Pune. They scored 337 runs for the loss of four wickets with 39 balls to spare. Chasing India’s 336 runs, the visitors got off to a brilliant start with Bairstow and Jason Roy adding 110 runs in 16.3 overs. Roy was run out for 55 and his innings included seven boundaries and one six which set the base for the chase.

Things just went downhill for India after Stokes, who was promoted to bat at number three in the absence of Joe Root, and Bairstow sent Indian players on a leather hunt and unsettled the strike bowlers. The duo hit 17 sixes in their partnership for the second wicket which also got the match in England’s favour. Stokes missed his century by a run after he nicked an edge to Rishabh Pant off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The damage was already done as Stokes’ knock of 99 in 52 deliveries comprised four boundaries and ten sixes which helped the visitors reach 285/2. Bairstow top-scored for England with 124 runs in 112 balls which included eleven boundaries and seven sixes. England hit 20 sixes in the chase which bettered their previous most sixes record in an innings against India which was 13 in 2019 at Edgbaston Stadium during the World Cup.

After India was put to bat by skipper Jos Buttler after winning the toss, seaming pair Reece Topley and Sam Curran put Shikhar Dhawan under pressure. After scoring in the second over, Dhawan nicked an edge to the second slip to Ben Stokes on the ninth dot ball he played in the innings. Dhawan was out for 4 which he scored in 17 deliveries trying to drive a full length delivery off Topley.

Kohli completed his 62nd half century at the end of the 27th over and kept the strike. Kohli hit a six towards the backward square leg and it looked like he would switch the gear and accelerate the scoring rate. With a single off Moeen Ali in the 29th over, Rahul brought up the 100 run partnership with Kohli in 119 balls. The batsmen greeted each other after the 100 run stand made it evident that that’s how they had planned the innings after losing two quick wickets to a very disciplined bowling by England. Rahul brought up his half century in the 31st over and a consecutive one in the tourney.

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