Manchester [UK], July 18 (ANI): Following his match-winning knock against England in the final ODI, Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant said that he was focusing on one ball at a time while batting.
Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 125* and his 133-run partnership with Hardik Pandya helped India chase down 260 in the final ODI of the three-match series at Manchester and win the series 2-1.
England was bundled out for 259 thanks to some brilliant spells from the likes of Hardik Pandya (4/24) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3/60). Jos Buttler (60), Jason Roy (41) and Moeen Ali (34) played some crucial knocks for the hosts.
Chasing 260, Reece Topley destroyed India's top order and had them at 72/4, but then Pandya-Pant stitched a match-winning stand of 133 runs.
'Hopefully, I remember (this knock) for the rest of my life. I was focusing on one ball at a time when I was batting. When your team is under pressure and you bat like that .. something I aspire to do," said Pant in a post-match presentation.
"I always enjoy playing in England, at the same time enjoy the atmosphere and the situation. The more you play the more experience you gain. Nothing to take away from the bowlers, it was a good wicket to bat on and the bowlers did a commendable job to restrict them, they were brilliant not only today but for the entire series," he added.
Chasing 260, team India started off on a bad start with the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan being sent back to the pavilion cheaply.
Shikhar Dhawan fell prey to Reece Topley in the 2.1 over of the innings. Topley gave another blow to India as he dismissed captain Rohit who scored 17 runs in 17 deliveries.
At that point, Reece Topley was on fire as he dismissed Virat Kohli on 17 runs, leaving India struggling at the score of 38/3. In the 10 over of the innings, India's main three batters were in the hut without leaving a significant mark in the chase.
After the 10 overs, England had the full command of the match in their hands as the hosts kept their bowling tight. Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant tried to anchor the inning and keep the momentum going for the visitors, taking their team's score beyond the 50-run mark in the 12th over of the innings.
The duo played some aggressive shots but the partnership could not stand longer, Craig Overton gave Men in Blue a big blow as he dismissed Suryakumar who had scored 16 runs in 28 deliveries.
Suryakumar's wicket brought Hardik Pandya to the crease. After 20 overs the duo of Pandya and Pant took their side's score beyond the 100-run mark under 21 overs with four wickets down.
The duo shifted their gears and started playing an attacking game. All-rounder Pandya brought up his half-century in 43 balls in the 30th over of the match.
In the next over Pant also smashed a brilliant fifty in the 71 balls. At that point, the duo was hammering the Three Lions all around the ground, playing big shots at regular intervals. The blistering pair brought up their 110 runs partnership stand in 106 balls.
After 34 over chasing equation went down to 77 runs in 96 balls to win. The duo continued their red-hot form and stunning partnership as they smashed Overton for 14 runs.
In the 36 over of the innings, Pandya smashed two back-to-back fours on the delivery of Brydon Carse, before he was dismissed on the third ball of the match.
Pandya's wicket also broke his 133 runs partnership in 115 balls with Pant. Star all-rounder of the team Ravindra Jadeja then came to bat.
Jadeja formed a great partnership with Pant to ease some pressure from their team. Pant brought up his century in 106 balls.
Pant went above and beyond to hammer David Willey, smashing him for 21 runs in the 42 overs with just 3 runs remaining to win the game in 48 balls.
The red-hot form batter Pant smashed four on the very first delivery of Joe Root's over to guide his team to a 5 wicket win and ODI series victory against England.
Earlier, Put to bat first by India, England was off to a horrific start. Pacer Mohammed Siraj sent packing both Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root back to the pavilion for a duck in the second over within a span of four balls. England was two down at 12 runs. Shreyas Iyer caught Bairstow at mid-off while skipper Rohit Sharma caught Root at slips.
This brought Ben Stokes to the crease. The duo started scoring some runs for England with some delightful boundaries. The duo crossed the 50-run partnership mark in the ninth over of the match.
Shortly, Roy was dismissed by Hardik Pandya for 41 off 31 balls after the ball hit the top edge of his bat and landed in hands of wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. England was 66/3 at this stage. At the end of 1st powerplay in ten overs, England was at 66/3, with Jos Buttler (0*) and Stokes (24*).
India did some tight bowling for the next few overs, making pressure on England without conceding heavy runs. Ben Stokes was the next wicket in the 14th over as he was caught and bowled by Pandya for 27 off 29 balls.
All-rounder Moeen Ali was next up on the crease. England was 74/4 and needed a partnership. The duo of Buttler and Ali did just that. They both got settled by focussing on strike rotation first. At the end of 20 overs, England was at 91/4, with Buttler (14*) and Moeen Ali (5*).
The duo started hitting some big shots after crossing 20 overs, with Moeen Ali being more aggressive of the duo. Buttler-Ali brought up their 50-run stand in the 23rd over. Buttler and Ali continued to score after that before Ravindra Jadeja trapped Ali for 34 off 44 balls in the 28th over after the extra bounce climbed off the face of Ali's bat and went straight into Pant's gloves. The 75-run stand between the duo was also done and dusted.
Liam Livingstone was the next man on the crease. Buttler and Livingstone picked up from where Ali had left and formed another valuable partnership. Buttler reached his half-century, his 21st in ODIs. Livingstone also struck four good boundaries.
The duo fell one short of adding 50-runs to their stand as Livingstone was dismissed by Pandya for 27 off 29 after he was caught by Jadeja at deep backward square leg. Buttler was the next one to go just three balls later, dismissed for 60 off 80 balls. England were 7 down at 199.
The next pair to take England forward was David Willey and Craig Overton. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking for England with some solid strike rotation and some careful hits sent down the fence. Willey-Overton put on 48-runs before Willey fell to Chahal for 18 off 15 after Suryakumar Yadav caught him at the long-off.
Brydon Carse was up next on the crease. Chahal took two more in the match, dismissing Overton for 32 and Reece Topley for a duck. England was bundled out for 259.
Pandya finished off as the pick of the bowlers for India, taking 4/24. Chahal also took 3/60. Siraj got two wickets while Jadeja got one.
Brief Scores: England: 259 in 45.5 overs (Jos Buttler 60, Jason Roy 41, Hardik Pandya 4/24) vs India 261/5 in 42.1 (Rishabh Pant 125*, Hardik Pandya 71; Reece Topley 3/35). (ANI)