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3rd ODI: Pant, Hardik power India to 329 (ld)

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Pune, March 28 (IANS) Powered by a 99-run partnership between Rishabh Pant (78 off 62 balls) and Hardik Pandya (64 off 44 balls) that came in just under 12 overs, India made 329 (in 48.2 overs) against England in the third and final One-day International at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday.

The hosts had begun well with openers Rohit Sharma (37 off 37 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (67 off 56 balls) adding 103 in just under 15 overs. The two began sedately before taking 15 runs off a Sam Curran over, the innings’ fifth. They then took 17 off the eighth over bowled by left-armer Reece Topley.

However, the introduction of Adil Rashid brought England back in. The England leg-spinner, who has made a habit of getting Virat Kohli out in this series, removed Sharma in his second over with a googly that beat the India vice-captain. Rashid picked Dhawan in the next over, having him caught and bowled.

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Soon Moeen Ali, who was introduced from the other end, got rid of skipper Kohli (7 off 10 balls). The India No. 3 tried to play the off-spinner off the back-foot. However, the ball turned in and hit the leg-stump.

Suddenly, from a strong 103 without loss in the 15th over, India were 121/3 in the 18th over.

In the five overs between 15-20, India had scored 18 runs for the loss of three wickets.

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England’s other leg-spinner Liam Livingstone then removed K.L. Rahul (7 off 18 balls) and India were 157/4 in the 25th over with backs to the wall.

From there on, Pant and Hardik took the attack to the England spinners. Pant hit Livingstone for a six and four to take 10 off his one over and then Hardik hammered Moeen Ali for three sixes in an over.

Pant and Hardik then kept milking runs before the India wicketkeeper was caught behind off Curran. Hardik was bowled down the leg-side by Ben Stokes but by the time the Indian batting duo was dismissed India were 276/6 in 39 overs.

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Shardul Thakur (30 off 21) and Krunal Pandya (25 off 34) added 45 runs in seven overs. However, after Thakur’s dismissal India could make a further eight runs.

Mark Wood picked three wickets for 34 runs.

Brief scores: India 329 all out in 48.2 overs (R Pant 78, S Dhawan 67, H Pandya 64, S Thakur 30, M Wood 3/34, A Rashid 2/81, L Livingstone 1/20, M Ali 1/39, B Stokes 1/45) vs England

–IANS

kh/rkm

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