England notched their first win of the India tour after beating the hosts by five runs in the third One-Day International in Kolkata on Sunday. After setting a target of 322 runs for India, England restricted their opponents to 316/9 in fifty overs to pull off a thrilling victory. Kedar Jadhav almost steered India to victory with a brisk 90-run knock, but was dismissed in the penultimate ball of the match to hand the visitors a consolation win in the ODI series. Despite the loss, India have clinched the series 2-1. Ben Stokes was awarded ‘Man of the Match’, while Kedar Jadhav received the ‘Man of the Series’ award.
India started poorly, losing Ajinkya Rahane early on. The opener fell for just one run, with David Willey cleaning out his wickets. Shortly after, KL Rahul was dismissed for 11 runs from a Jake Ball delivery. India were 37/2 at that stage.
However, skipper Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh combined to steady the Indian innings. Kohli scored 55, before being dismissed by Stokes. A few overs later, Yuvraj fell for 45.
MS Dhoni too failed to stay on the crease, being dismissed by Ball for 25. Just when England seemed to be cruising to victory, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya set up a 104-run stand, before Pandya was removed by Stokes.
Jadeja and Ashwin fell soon after, but Jadhav brought India close to an unlikely win with some big strokes. Jadhav, however, fell for 90, leaving India with 6 runs to win from the last ball. England held on for a five-run win, their first victory of the ongoing tour.
Earlier, Ben Stokes cracked a timely half-century to help England reach a competitive total of 321 for eight.
The left-hander scored an unbeaten 57 off 39 balls, and there were also half-centuries from Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, as Eoin Morgan’s side sought a consolation win after the Men in Blue clinched the three-match 2-0 in Cuttack.
After being put in to bat England rode on a 98-run opening stand between Roy (65) and Sam Billings (35) before the Indian bowlers came back with regular strikes.
Pacer Hardik Pandya bagged three wickets while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja picked two on a lively pitch at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens Stadium.
Jadeja sent both openers back to the pavilion, dismissing Roy for the third time in the series after the batsman’s third successive ODI fifty.
Skipper Eoin Morgan, who struck a valiant 102 in England’s second loss in Cuttack on Thursday, once again looked like he would pilot the innings with some assured hitting.
The left-hander shared an 84-run third-wicket partnership with Jonny Bairstow (56) before Pandya rattled the England middle order.
Morgan, who hit two fours and three sixes during his 44-ball stay, was out for 43 against the run of play after flicking a catch to Jasprit Bumrah at short fine leg.
Bairstow, who came into the side in place of the injured Alex Hales, survived a scare after he was caught at third-man off Bumrah on 28 off a no ball.
Bairstow went on to register his third ODI fifty but failed to convert it into a big score when he fell to Pandya, who finished with figures of 3-49.
But Stokes ensured the efforts of the top order were not in vain. He smashed four fours and two sixes to help the visitors put on 58 in the final five overs.
His 73-run seventh-wicket stand with Chris Woakes (34) was crucial in England’s final push to get the score well past the 300-run mark.