Hardik Pandya catch: The final showdown between India and England in the third ODI match has already witnessed quite a few dramatic twist and turns. With the high-voltage India vs England ODI series evenly poised at 1-1, India posted a challenging total of 329 runs in 48.2 overs after losing the toss and being asked to bat first. The trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya registered impressive half-centuries each in the first innings.
However, India were desperately requiring a sensational effort with the ball to restrict the explosive England batting line-up. And India’s premier new ball bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was absolutely spot on as he removed the dangerous England openers, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow while Natarajan took the prized scalp of Ben Stokes quite early in the chase. But then the pair of Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone led a slight comeback for the visitors with an excellent partnership of 60 runs before Shardul Thakur removed both the set batters in quick succession.
Hardik Pandya did drop Ben Stokes in the field earlier in the chase but then he redeemed himself in a fantastic manner by taking a stunning catch to dismiss the dangerous-looking Moeen Ali off Bhuvneshwar’s bowling in the 31st over. The acrobatic Indian all-rounder threw himself forward and snaffled a spectacular catch.
India’s opening duo comprising of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit compiled a fabulous partnership of 103 runs in 14.3 overs. But England came back strongly to pick four wickets in quick succession. However, then the pair of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant displayed some staggering hitting to dispatch the England bowlers in all parts of the ground. Hardik smashed a brilliant knock of 64 runs off 44 balls while Pant slammed 78 runs off 62 balls as the duo added 99 runs for the fifth wicket stand.
But England bowled well at the death to bowl India out for 329 runs. Even after losing their frontline batters in the chase, England hasn’t left the hopes of winning this series decider in Pune which is a commendable effort.
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