India hang on at the death to take the ODI series 2-1

India hang on at the death to take the ODI series 2-1

It was a nail-biting, heart-thumping end to the ODI series as India just managed to get over the line in the final over to win the 3rd ODI by 7 runs and clinch the series 2-1. Sam Curran and England nearly pulled off a dramatic heist towards the end and were cruelly denied a victory after an outstanding final over from T Natarajan. Sam Curran scored 95* – the highest score by a number 8 in ODI cricket – and batted beautifully with the tail to give England a glimmer of hope after they were reeling at 200-7. 

Curran carted Shardul Thakur for 18 runs off the 47th over to take the equation to 23 runs needed off the final 18 deliveries. However, two tight overs from Bhuvneshwar and Hardik meant that England needed 14 runs off the final over to pull off a memorable chase. Thankfully for the hosts, Natarajan nailed his yorkers at the end to seal the game for India in a dramatic fashion.

Earlier in the day, India were put in to bat after Virat Kohli lost his 10th toss of the tour. Interestingly, India adopted a different approach to their batting innings and looked to play with more positive intent after England chased 336 in the 2nd ODI within 43.3 overs. Openers Dhawan and Rohit gave India a flying start in the powerplay and even reached their 100-run partnership in the 14th over of the innings. After the rapid start, England hit back through their spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid who dismissed the Indian top three within 20 deliveries to gain the upper hand. KL Rahul rubbed salt in the wound as he hit a hip-high full toss from part-timer Liam Livingstone straight into the hands of short fine leg.

Despite the loss of wickets, India continued with their attacking approach with Pandya and Pant. The pair of them looked set to take India to a total of 350+ but were both dismissed before the final 10 overs which meant India had to settle for a below par total of 330.

Early wickets were going to be the key for India to stop England from chasing down the target on a superb batting strip and Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again proved his worth with the new ball. Kumar swung the ball both ways to dismiss the dangerous opening pair of Bairstow and Roy. While England continued to maintain the run-rate, they kept losing wickets at inopportune moments and ended up at 168-6 when Sam Curran came to the crease. Curran was handed a life when he was dropped by Hardik Pandya on 22 and slowly chipped away at the Indian total alongside Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Mark Wood.

Unfortunately, despite some sloppy fielding from the Indians, the task proved too much for Curran and England as they eventually fell short by only 7 runs. With this victory, India have completed a fantastic home season where they have won all three series on this tour after winning the Test series 3-1 and the T20I series 3-2.