Heroic Curran innings in vain as India win

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Skipper Kohli lost the toss yet again and a familiar script unfolded as England put India to bat.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma helped India get off to to a cracking start.

Their partnership yielded 103 runs inside 15 overs, before Rohit was bowled by Adil Rashid for 37, made at a run a ball.

Like it always happens, a wicket after a long partnership is followed by another. Rashid accounted for Dhawan in the 17th over. 

When Virat Kohli fell to Moeen Ali for just 7, India was truly in a delicate situation at 121 for 3.

Even KL Rahul failed to get going but a vital 99-run partnership between Pant and Hardik Pandya helped India breach the 250 mark without further damage.

Hardik, especially, was in a savage mood and scored a brilliant 64 off just 44 balls.

The rollercoaster continued when both fell in quick succession and it was only thanks to Shardul Thakur’s cameo that helped India reach 329.

Thakur blasted 30 from 21 balls, which included three superbly struck sixes.

Mark Wood was outstanding and spearheaded England’s comeback by dismissing Thakur, Krunal (25) and Prasidh Krishna (0) in quick succession. The innings folded up in the 49th over when Reece Topley accounted for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

At one stage, India had looked good enough to score 350+ and the score looked about 20-30 runs considering England’s impressive batting form.

Bhuvi strikes

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been in tremendous form and once again delivered by getting rid of Jason Roy and last match’s centurion Jonny Bairstow within three overs.

Natarajan, who came in place of Kuldeep Yadav, made an instant impact by getting Ben Stokes (caught by Dhawan for 35), who looked in imperious form.

India held a slight edge but this English line-up is packed with all-rounders and bats really deep, which meant India couldn’t relax.

India needed wickets to be in the game and Shardul Thakur promptly obliged, not with one but four!

Thakur’s quadruple strike (Buttler, Livingstone, Malan and Rashid) effectively broke the back of England’s middle order and ensured that they were pegged back, each time they looked to mounter a counter.

Thakur, who doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, has effectively emerged as the man with the golden arm, who never disappoints when wickets are needed.

When Malan fell, England were precariously placed at 168 for 6 and the match was effectively over, bar the shouting.

But India had not reckoned with Sam Curran yet!

Curran, whose previous highest score from seven ODIs was 15, brought England to sniffing distance of a glorious win, by playing one of the greatest ODI innings by a No. 8 batsman.

His unbeaten 95 off just 83 balls was studded with 9 fours and 3 sixes.

Thanks to Curran, the match that seemed to be in India’s pocket, went down to the wire with England needing 14 in the last over.

Kohli tossed the ball to Natarajan who held his nerve and conceded just six runs, leaving India victors by seven runs.

Curran was declared Man of the Match and Bairstow earned the Man of the Series award.

It was a fitting finale to a series that provided cricketing moments of the highest quality.

India 329 (Pant 78, Dhawan 67, Hardik 64) beat England 322 for 9 (Curran 95*, Malan 50, Thakur 4-67, Kumar 3-42) by seven runs