Sam Curran’s valiant 95* went in vain as India registered a narrow 7-run victory to defeat England in the third and final match and clinch the ODI series 2-1 on Sunday. With 14 to win from the last over, England managed to score just six as India wrapped up the ODI series with a dramatic victory in Pune.
After England’s middle-order crumbled, it was Curran who shifted the momentum with his brilliant batting display. Heaping praise on Curran’s incredible innings, skipper Jos Buttler said that the all-rounder nearly got England over the line.
“A fantastic game, both sides made some mistakes but played some brilliant cricket as well. We witnessed an incredible knock from Curran to nearly get us over the line, but congratulations to India on winning. We’ve learnt a lot as a side and seen many guys stand up and take the lead. The white-ball leg was incredibly competitive,” Buttler said in the post-match presentation.
“We have played excellent cricket for a number of years, the talent pool in white-ball cricket is growing and creates competition in the squad and drives us to do better. We bat deep as a side, it’s one of our strengths, but Sam Curran did well to take responsibility and take a lot of the strike and it took a great character to play the way he did. I know he will be disappointed he didn’t get us over the line, but we are all very proud of him and his performance.”
Earlier, stroke-filled fifties from Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya helped India post a 329-run total on the scoreboard. Opener Shikhar Dhawan also scored 67 as India set a 330-run target for the visitors. Buttler also said that playing in Indian conditions will help England players to prepare for the upcoming World Cup.
“These are the conditions we will face in the near future in the World Cup. It’s a great experience for the young guys to play a top-class side like India and they will be better cricketers for it.
“We didn’t bowl that well at the top, gave away easy boundaries, but dragged it back only to be pegged back by (Rishabh) Pant and (Hardik) Pandya. We didn’t have those big partnerships to take us over the line,” he added.