Thursday, April 15, 2021

Rishabh Pant’s 78s, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan’s 60s bring India to 329

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An offensive partnership at the fifth wicket of 99 between Rishabh pants (78 of 62) and Hardik Pandya (64 of 44) lifted India team at 329. This came after the hosts got lost after a good start.

Hardik entered to join Rishabh Pant with Team India 157 for 4, approaching mid-stage. It didn’t take long for Rishabh Pant to get into his groove. In Liam Livingstonesecond over, the southpaw had a one-handed six for the second straight game. He smashed the next bullet through the covers.

Hardik then hammered Moeen Ali for three sixes in one more, as Team India made sure not to get bogged down. The first was a kick-and-delivery, slapped on the floor. The second six was dropped over the corner of the cow and the third thrown over the midwicket. The spinners that troubled India earlier were not as effective in the aftermath of the Rishabh Pant and Hardik attack.

The borders continued to flow and Rishabh Pant raised his 50s in style, throwing a stolen delivery of Adil Rashid into the stands. Rishabh Pant fell again in the ’70s, caught by Sam Curran for 78 as Jos Buttler took a hard blow to one hand.

Hardik lifted a 36-ball fifty-fifty and celebrated by hitting Rashid to a high over the midwicket. However, he was fired for 64 as he stepped on his stumps and Ben Stokes hit the leg stump.

Shardul Thakur then swung his bat and hit three sixes in his 21-ball 30. Krunal Pandya, however, struggled, failing to hit a single limit in his 34-ball 25.

Prasidh Krishna (0) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3) perished quickly as India was all out for 329 in 48.2 overs. The hosts suffered another slump in the end, losing four wickets for eight races. Mark Wood crossed the lower order of India to finish with 3 for 34.

Adil Rashid celebrates a wicket with his teammates.  Pic: BCCI
Adil Rashid celebrates a wicket with his teammates. Pic: BCCI

Previously, Team India went from 103 for no loss to 157 for 4 in a 10-on span where the England spinners have dominated. Rohit Sharma (37 of 37) was completely beaten by a Rashid googly (2 for 81) for being clean.

Shikhar Dhawan (67 of 56) looked good in the middle. However, he also didn’t read Rashid’s variation and brought one straight back to the melon, thus gaining the leading edge.

Virat Kohli (7) played a rare and mediocre shot to put the India team in trouble. It came back to a good delivery length from Moeen (1 for 39) and was cleaned up as the ball came back sharply.

The centurion of the last match, KL Rahul (7), then perished in a draw from Liam Livingstone, losing his grip on the bat. He went for a sweep, but only managed to get it up to a thin, short leg, where Moeen pocketed a diving hold. India was in trouble before Rishabh Pant recovered.

Shikhar Dhawan shines ahead of Rishabh Pant-Hardik Pandya blitz

After losing the toss and being sent to the bat, India got off to a good start as Dhawan and Rohit were in another century-long stand. The left-hander was the aggressor as Rohit was happy to play the supporting role.

Dhawan looked fit in the middle, hitting 10 ovens. After India managed just 16 points in their first four overs, Rohit broke the chains with a back-to-back four off Curran.

In the eighth inning, Dhawan struck three fours against stimulator Reece Topley, the climax being a crashed practice between mid-off and short cover.

The southpaw touched on his second half-century in the series by crushing a half-tracker from Rashid at Midwicket to a limit.

Dhawan and Rohit raised their 17th century stand in ODI, surpassing Adam Gilchrist-Matthew Hayden’s record of 16. Rohit’s dismissal was followed by three more wickets.

Rishabh Pant and Hardik went on to participate in another impressive rescue act, but India failed to achieve final success.

Posted Mar 28, 2021 5:35 PM IST



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