Hardik Pandya took a career best 4/24 as a disciplined India beat England for 259 with more than four overs to spare in the series-defining third and final ODI here on Sunday. Skipper Jos Buttler scored the highest score for England with an 80-ball 60, but it was the flamboyant all-rounder from Gujarat who dominated the first half of the match with his excellent bowling and sent a warning to opponents in the year of the T20 World Cup.
Buttler was in good shape before being fired by Pandya. However, it was Ravindra Jadeja – the outfielder – who was crucial behind the sacking.
Watch: Ravindra Jadeja Takes Brilliant Catch To Jos Buttler . to fire
A nice catch from Jadeja removes Buttler.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 17, 2022
Previously, playing in place of the injured Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj got a huge boost in confidence early on when he sacked Jonny Bairstow with his third ball of the day. As the England opener formed to play it on the leg side, the bat turned in his hand and the ball ballooned halfway to Shreyas Iyer after a leading edge.
Tail up, Siraj ran to the prolific Joe Root’s bowl, got the ball away and the perimeter was nicely taken by skipper Rohit Sharma on the second slip. Siraj basically squared Root with his late move.
With two of their in-from batters back in the duck hut, England ran into problems at 12 for two.
This was after Jason Roy (41) collected three limits from Mohammed Shami, including a four to the halfway mark in the very first episode of the match.
Rohit made a bold move to field first, as eight of the last nine games at Old Trafford have been won by teams that batted first.
His English counterpart Buttler was happy to hit first and Bumrah not around was reassuring for the hosts. Little did he know, though, that the world-class bowler’s replacement for the day would rock their boat so early in their innings, including on a stroke-friendly wicket.
Ben Stokes showed what a good throw it was to serve when he offered the blade of the blade to push the ball through the offside line for a four.
Roy and Stokes kept the innings steady, but when their counter-attacking partnership reached 54 runs, Hardik had caught the former from behind after tying him down by bowling to a tight line and length.
The ball was short, but there was barely room for Roy to free his arms, and as a result England lost their third wicket with 66 runs on the board.
In the midst of a fine period, Hardik kept up the pressure on his part and soon had the English Test captain snatched and bowled. It was a reward for a brilliant bowling game from Hardik, who dropped the ball shortly after seeing a frustrated Stokes step out, the all-rounder who got his second wicket girl.
Bowling in India was tight, so much so that England could only score 16 runs in seven overs since Roy’s departure.
Siraj returned to attack, hitting Buttler twice on the helmet in the space of three balls. On both occasions, the physio checked him out according to concussion protocol, but the batter seemed fine.
The England captain meanwhile crushed Yujvendra Chahal (3/60) for a six over long-on, Moeen Ali (34) maxed out against Siraj, before the two hit another six in that order.
After getting his eye, Moeen was knocked out along the leg side of Ravidra Jadeja, who also made a brilliant catch that ran a long way from the deep square leg.
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