3rd ODI: Hardik Pandya shines as India bowl out England for 259

MANCHESTER: Hardik Pandya grabbed a career-best 4/24 as a disciplined India bowled out England for 259 with more than four overs to spare in the series-deciding third and final ODI here on Sunday.
Skipper Jos Buttler top-scored 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, sending out a warning to the opponents in the year of the T20 World Cup.
Playing in place of injured Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj got a massive confidence boost early on, when he dismissed Jonny Bairstow with his third ball of the day. As the England opener shaped up to play it on the leg-side, the bat turned in his hand and the ball ballooned to Shreyas Iyer at mid-off following a leading edge.
His tails up, Siraj then ran in to bowl to the prolific Joe Root, got the ball to move away, and the outside edge was nicely taken by skipper Rohit Sharma at second slip. Siraj, in fact, squared Root up with his late movement.
With two of their in-from batters back in the hut for ducks, England were in trouble at 12 for two.
This was after Jason Roy (41) collected three boundaries off Mohammed Shami, including a four through mid off in the very first delivery of the match.
Rohit made a bold move to field first given that eight of the last nine games at Old Trafford have been won by teams batting first.
His English counterpart Buttler was happy to bat first and Bumrah not around was comforting for the hosts. But little did he know that the world-class bowler’s replacement for the day would rock their boat so early into their innings, that too on a batting-friendly wicket.
Ben Stokes showed what a good pitch it was to bat on when he offered the face of the blade to push the ball through the off-side for a four.
Roy and Stokes steadied the innings but when their counterattacking partnership reached 54 runs, Hardik had the former caught behind after tying him down by bowling to a tight line and length.
The ball was on the shorter side but there was hardly any room for Roy to free his arms, and the result was England losing their third wicket with 66 runs on the board.
In the middle of a fine spell, Hardik sustained the pressure from his end and soon he had the English Test captain caught and bowled. It was a reward for some brilliant bowling by Hardik who dropped the ball short after he saw a frustrated Stokes stepping out, the all-rounder getting his second wicket maiden.
India’s bowling was tight, so much so that England could score just 16 runs in seven overs since Roy’s departure.
Returning to the attack, Siraj hit Buttler on the helmet twice in the space of three balls. On both occasions, the physio took a look at him as per the concussion protocol, but the batter seemed okay.
The English captain meanwhile smashed Yujvendra Chahal (3/60) for a six over long-on, Moeen Ali (34) got a maximum against Siraj, before the two again hit a six each in that order.
Having got his eye in, Moeen was out caught down the leg side off Ravidra Jadeja, who also pulled off a brilliant catch running a long way from deep square leg.

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