Sam Curran’s rearguard act in vain as India clinch series

Brief scorecard: India 329/10 (Rishabh Pant 78, Shikhar Dhawan 67, Hardik Pandya 64; Mark Wood 3/34, Adil Rashid 2/81, Liam Livingstone 1/20) beat England 322/9 (Sam Curran 95*, Dawid Malan 50; Shardul Thakur 4/67, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/42) by 7 runs

India vs England 3rd ODI 2021, stats

  • India held off a stirring fightback from England’s lower middle order, led by Sam Curran’s unbeaten 96, and sealed a seven-run win in the third ODI to secure the three-match series 2-1.
  • The victory was India’s 55th in ODIs against England in 103 meetings between the teams.
  • It was the younger Curran’s maiden ODI half-century, an unbeaten 83-ball 95, which is the joint-highest score by a No. 8 batsman in one-day cricket.
  • Having walked in with England 168 for six, chasing 330 for victory, Sam Curran bided his time early on but timed his acceleration and manipulated strike cleverly later in the innings to keep England in the hunt. He helped accrue 18 runs off the 47th over of the innings (bowled by Shardul Thakur) to reduce the equation down to 23 runs required off 18 balls for England and set panic in the Indian ranks. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Thangarasu Natarajan, though, held their nerve under pressure to win the match for the home team.
  • Earlier, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put together their 17th century partnership in ODIs and got India off to a solid start after stand-in England captain Jos Buttler won the toss and chose to field first. The opening pair now has the second-most century partnerships in ODI cricket—behind Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (26)—as they also went past 5000 runs batting together in ODIs.
  • England spinners halted India’s momentum by striking in quick succession after Rohit and Dhawan brought up the team hundred as the pair fell one after another to Adil Rashid’s googlies before captain Virat Kohli was bowled by a ripping off-spinner from Moeen Ali.
  • However, a 99-run fifth-wicket partnership between Rishabh Pant and Hardik resurrected the Indian innings and gave the home side hope of posting a total in excess of 350. Pant made a 62-ball 78, his highest ODI score and his third fifty-plus score in the format, while Hardik made his seventh ODI half-century (a 44-ball 64).
  • The Pant-Hardik pair fell as they threatened to take the match away from the visitors, who as a result were able to restrict the home side to 329; India were bowed out in 48.2 overs.
  • Chasing 330, England lost their openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow early, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s ability to swing and seam the new ball giving India the ideal start.
  • In a gripping contest between bat and ball, wickets were interspersed by good batting partnerships as Virat kept going back to Bhuvneshwar and Shardul Thakur for breakthroughs while the less-experienced Natarajan, Prasidh Krishna and Krunal Pandya failed to provide control.
  • Dawid Malan, playing his third one-dayer, also made his maiden ODI fifty having walked in to bat in the fourth over at the fall of Jonny Bairstow’s wicket.
  • The victory was India’s 65th under Kohli’s captaincy.
  • Kohli also became the third Indian skipper to lead in 200 international matches, behind only MS Dhoni (332) and Mohammad Azharuddin (221).