England v India: Rishabh Pant & Hardik Pandya Seal Series win
|Third Royal London One Day International, Emirates Old Trafford|
|England 259 (45.5 overs): Butler 60 (80); Hardik 4-24|
|India 261-5 (42.1 overs): Pants 125* (113), Hardik 71 (55); Topley 3-35|
|India won by five wickets, winning series 2-1|
Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya led India to a five-wicket win over England in the crucial one-day international at Old Trafford.
Pant made a wonderful unbeaten century while Hardik’s 71 came after winning 4-24 with the ball as the tourists secured a 2-1 series win in sweltering Manchester conditions.
India chased 260 and was reduced to 72-4, only for Pant and Hardik to share a 133 score.
Pant could have failed at 18, while Craig Overton misjudged a chance of catching Hardik when he only had six.
Despite Hardik being out with 55 balls remaining, Pant completed his first ODI century, hitting the winning runs with 47 balls left to finish 125 on the short end.
Hardik’s attempt with the ball used to be the main reason England were eliminated at 259 despite captain Jos Buttler’s 60.
Buttler suffers a loss in his first ODI series since replacing Eoin Morgan as skipper, reflecting India’s success in the T20s.
England move on to a day-long, three-game contest against South Africa, which begins at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.
India prevails in the swing battle
This was an intriguing duel, the most competitive match in a series where both sides had previously each achieved a unilateral victory.
In the end, India triumphed to the delight of a noisy and partisan crowd thanks to Hardik, one of the top white ball cricketers in the world, and Wicketkeeper Pant, who had a good tour in all three formats.
It was India’s greater ability to adapt to the two-step playing field that led them to victory. Hardik led an attack that used the short ball intelligently. He later produced a match-winning stand with Pant that delivered a memorable hundred.
England will regret their missed chances on the field, but also know that their top-notch batting power has not fired once in three games.
England is a team in transition. New captain Buttler and coach Matthew Mott are rebuilding an injury-plagued pace attack while also being without Adil Rashid, who missed that series after making the Hajj pilgrimage.
They will be contenders for the World Cup next year but the biggest threat to defending their trophy will be India who are building a team capable of repeating their 2011 triumph on home soil.
Pant and Hardik lead the chase
India rocked as Reece Topley, England’s new signing of the summer in white ball cricket, all defeated Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, followed by Overton who removed Suryakumar Yadav.
If Buttler had taken the easy chance when Moeen Ali Pant cheated, the game could have ended while Overton didn’t come close to Hardik’s miss from Brydon Carse, which would have been an easy long-leg catch.
Pardoned, the fifth pair of wickets steadily rebuilt. Left-handed Pant pounced on anything short while Hardik stood upright to play nice shots through the offside line.
England exhausted all their chances and the game sped from them when Hardik failed to get on a bouncer from Carse, allowing Ben Stokes to make a fine dive mid-wicket.
However, Pant kept sprinting and boldly swept David Willey for a six. There was a jittery moment as he chipped Overton in the middle against Willey to get to 99, but after completing his hundred he exploded and took Willey for five straight fours.
The winning runs came with a reverse sweep from Joe Root’s off-spin, a final magic moment in a spectacular knock.
Hardik barrage keeps England at bay
It rarely felt like England were in control given the near-constant short bowling from India – all four of Hardik’s wickets came from deliveries struck on the pitch.
Mohammed Siraj removed Jonny Bairstow and Root, both for ducks, in his first over, then Pandya caused errors on bouncers from Jason Roy for 41 and Stokes to leave England in trouble at 74-4.
But Buttler, hit twice in the head in the same Siraj prelude, rebuilt a cautious 75 with Moeen and added 49 with Lancashire teammate Liam Livingstone.
Buttler’s 65-ball half-century was his second-slowest in ODIs — he and Livingstone were just about to let go as they both fell. Livingstone had drawn Pandya for two sixes only to be caught attempting a third, while Buttler, similar to Ravindra Jadeja, made a brilliant catch in deep mid-wicket.
Despite 32 from Overton, England lost their last five wickets for 61 runs.
‘We’re not far away’ – reaction
England captain Jos Butter on the BBC Test Match Special: “It was a good wicket when you sat in so we were a bit light with the bat. But the start we made with the ball gave us a chance and the missed stumping cost us. Pant is a really good player and you give a player like that a second chance, they will hurt you.
“We’re not fully utilized as a strike unit, but we’re not far from it. We just don’t produce what we are capable of. Hopefully we can find a solution individually and together.”
India captain Rohit Sharma on TMS: “I’m very happy with the performance of the guys. Coming here we knew it wasn’t going to be easy to win both legs of the white ball series. We all really tried and it’s something that we do.” are really proud of it.
“It was a crucial partnership for us to put the team in the right place and for Rishabh to come out and hit like that – we all know his talent, it was just getting that big result and winning the game for us .”
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sky Sports: “We’re absolutely thrilled, we all know what a good team England are. For us it was important to check what plans we have with the upcoming World Cup, it was the ideal chance and situation to step up and show what we have.
“We all know Pant’s talent, he played the situation and we had to partner. The way he finished was special.”