Hardik and Pant punish England as India claim ODI series triumph

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A sensational all-round performance from Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant's maiden ODI century secured a 2-1 series victory for India over England as they prevailed by five wickets at Old Trafford on Sunday.

India captain Rohit Sharma's decision to bowl first paid dividends as England's high-powered line-up was bowled out for 259.

Hardik starred for an India attack missing Jasprit Bumrah through back spasms, with career-best ODI figures of 4-24 before Pant hit a magnificent 125 not out.

Mohammed Siraj removed Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root for ducks in his first over and, after a mini-recovery, England were 74-4 when Hardik removed both Jason Roy (41) and Ben Stokes (27).

Captain Jos Buttler (60) steadied the ship with his first half-century of a series dominated by the ball, but his stand of 75 with Moeen Ali ended when Ravindra Jadeja had the latter caught down the leg side.

A fascinating short-ball battle between Hardik and Liam Livingstone (27) ended with Livingstone caught on the rope by Jadeja, and Buttler fell to a diving catch from the same fielder.

Craig Overton took advantage of a sloppy period from India thereafter to get England past 250, and it looked as if India may pay the price as Reece Topley ran through their top order; Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit and Virat Kohli all removed by the tall fast bowler to leave the tourists 38-3.

Overton got Suryakumar Yadav caught behind, but England were confounded by the combination of Hardik (71) and Pant, who put on 133 before India's all-rounder was dismissed by a superb catch from his opposition counterpart Ben Stokes.

It mattered not as Pant reached three figures for the first time and then hit David Willey for five fours in an over; getting India over the line with a reverse sweep from Joe Root for his 18th boundary of a tremendous display.

Hardik plays pivotal role

Hardik had never before taken four wickets in an ODI - his previous best figures were 3-31 against New Zealand in 2016. He changed that in stunning fashion as he dismissed the heart of a formidable England XI.

And, with India teetering in their reply, it was Hardik who turned the game firmly in their favour with his sixth-highest ODI score, unfurling a series of sublime cover drives in an innings defined by an impressive combination of discipline and aggression.

Pant punishes missed opportunity

Buttler missed a huge opportunity to end Pant's innings on 18, letting a stumping chance go begging.

Pant punished England's captain in style. He smacked Stokes down the ground for his 50 and brought up 100 in 106 balls, before his remarkable bludgeoning of Willey ended the game as a contest.

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