Man of the Match today: The English all-rounder was awarded the Man of the Match despite contributing in a losing effort.
During the third match of the ongoing England’s tour of India in Pune, India beat England by 7 runs in a cliffhanger to win the three-match series 2-1.
Chasing a 330-run target, the required run rate was never an issue for England given how frequently their batsmen were finding the boundaries. However, fall of wickets at regular intervals kept India in the hunt as well.
In a spot of bother after losing all-rounder Moeen Ali (29) in the 31st over, England all-rounder Sam Curran began a rescue act via a 57-run partnership for the eighth wicket alongside Adil Rashid (19).
After India captain Virat Kohli grabbed a stunning catch to dismiss Rashid, Curran took the onus upon himself with 73 runs needed to win. Not shying away from refusing to take singles with Mark Wood at the other end, Curran dealt in boundaries and doubles to even cover up for the dot deliveries played by his partner.
Earlier, England bundled out India for 329 in 48.2 overs after their captain Jos Buttler won the toss and chose to field. Despite losing wickets in clusters, India scored a competitive total on the back of quickfire individual half-centuries from Rishabh Pant (78), Shikhar Dhawan (67) and Hardik Pandya (64).
Man of the Match today
In what was his maiden ODI half-century, Curran contributed with a magnificent 95* (83) with the help of nine fours and three sixes. However, the 22-year old player’s wholehearted effort wasn’t enough for the visitors to clinch the series despite India erring on the field on multiple occasions.
Curran, who also dismissed Pant to break a pivotal partnership in the first innings, won his first ‘Man of the Match’ award in his eighth ODI at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium tonight.
What a game ! Unlucky Sam Curran could not pull that off after such a great knock ! Natrajan so good under pressure after such little experience!🙌🏻 congratulations team 🇮🇳 to win all 3 series ! @RishabhPant17 special knock ✊ @BhuviOfficial top spell @imShard #INDvsENG
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) March 28, 2021
“We didn’t win the game but happy with the way I played. I love winning but it was a great experience. I haven’t done that for England for a long time but in the end we lost. I wanted to take the majority o the balls and take it deep. It was hard to defend, but [T.] Natarajan bowled really well in the end and shows why he’s a really good bowler,” Curran told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.