By: Mohit Singhal
IND Vs ENG: After losing the historic test match to end the series on a draw, India made a big stride in limited overs format, first winning the T20I series by 2-1 and now clinching the One-Day series by 2-1 too.
This win marks the end of their England tour on a positive note. Now, their next assignment is against West Indies starting on July 22.
The series was 1-1 with the match deciding the winner of this Royal London series and England set them a target of 260; occasionally a below-par score at this deck.
However, last match hero for the hosts, Reece Topley once again decided to wreak havoc with the opening spell picking up the star-studded Indian top order.
The nightmare of that semifinal match of the 2019 World Cup came back to haunt the Indian team. Rohit and Virat each got out on 17 trying to connect the outside-off ball and giving edge behind.
Dhawan too once again failed to count the day heading back to hunt after making just 1 run.
Unlike that day, the Indian middle order consisting of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya ensured no other heartbreak for Indian fans and came out as rescuers stitching a partnership that puts the visitors on top and eventually won the match by 5 wickets and the series by 2-1, their first after 2014 series win.
Earlier on the day, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss for the third consecutive time in the series and invited Jos Buttler and company to bat first.
Injured Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the match due to niggle was replaced by Mohammed Siraj who proved his worth as a new ball bowler picking up twice of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root in an over. Both of them were removed at a duck.
After two wickets, Jason Roy and Ben Stokes started the counter-attack adding 54 runs in 41 balls. Though, the assault by all-rounder Hardik Pandya started and he started his first spell with an astonishing number of (4-3-2-2) picking up Roy and Stokes (27).
Captain Jos Buttler came to the rescue with exceptional innings of 60 runs in 80 deliveries comprised of 3 fours and 2 sixes.
He made a partnership of 75-runs with Moeen Ali who made 34-run in 44 ball outings.
The entertaining rivalry was seen between Hardik Pandya and Liam Livingstone when the latter was taking on the former’s short ball attack. He punched two sixes of half-pitched short delivery before was caught off by Jadeja at deep square leg.
In the same over, Hardik removed Buttler with the same tactics and was caught by the same fielder, Jadeja. This was Hardik's best figure in one-day internationals.
In the end, Willey and Craig Overton handed some blows to take England to a competitive total of 259.
Chasing the target and a series trophy, India get off to a start that reminded everyone of that day against New Zealand. India was reduced to 38/3 with Topley taking all three.
Virat Kohli once again failed to score as he continued the same mistake of going at outside-off delivery. Suryakumar Yadav too fell after scoring 16 runs and India were hanging at 72-4 after 16.2 overs.
It was then an outstanding alliance between Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya with both of them continuing their rich run. Both did take a while to get going but after a time, when they became friendly to the pitch, they started to take on English bowlers.
Hardik Pandya with the help of 10 boundaries scored 71 runs in 55 balls and put India on the verge of victory. India needed 55 runs when Hardik Pandya got out and after that, no wickets fell but the thing was Jadeja only added 7 runs to the match-winning partnership with Pant.
Cause Pant was busy creating history at the other end smashing the English attack all-round the park and in the process reached his maiden one-day century. He blazed 125* in 113 deliveries with 16 fours and 2 sixes.
In 9 overs India needed 24 runs and Pant smashed 5 consecutive fours off David Willey and then crossed the line with a four off Joe Root.
This was India’s first one-day series win on English soil after the 2014 series trump under MS Dhoni. Rishabh Pant was awarded as the man of the match while Hardik was chosen as the player of the series all-round show of 100 runs and 6 wickets to his name.