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Sunday, July 17, 2022

classic surgeon Rishab Pant finishes in style !!

Long ago, some critics were against the some players ! – in the age of social media, many millions are armchair critics and .. .. write reams against some. Before today’s match, people were gunning for him alongside Virat Kohli (sad, Kohli failed again !) – initially they wrote, he has no temperament, said he throws away his wicket – all at a time, when he had been fearlessly attacking and hitting all bowlers to all part of the ground.  Then, they concluded that he is fit for Test but not for ODI – today, he has silenced them .. .. hopefully forever ! 

At Old Trafford today in the decider, India though bowling well, ended up chasing  260 for victory   after Hardik Pandya's four-wicket haul helped bowl England out well inside 50 overs in their final encounter. Hardik claimed an ODI career-best 4 for 24 from seven overs as England fell for 259 in 45.5 overs, Jos Buttler was their leading scorer with 60. Yuzvendra Chahal tidied up the tail in taking 3 for 60 in 9.5 overs.  Hardik made a power packed 71 too – yet he would not be the Man of the Match. 

The Man – pocket dynamo, throws his bat at everything, even when close to maiden 100, lucky to be dropped at 97 .. .. the real finisher.  A decade + ago, in the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh, he smashed a record-breaking fifty against Nepal and followed it up with a century against Namibia to help India qualify for the semi-finals. Incidentally, his century came on the same day when he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for INR 1.9 crores from a base price of Rs 10 lakhs. A year after making his Ranji Trophy debut at the age of 18 in 2015, he broke records by scoring a triple-hundred against Maharashtra and a blistering 48-ball hundred against Jharkhand in the 2016-17 first-class season.


The man Pant – ‘Rishabh Rajendra Pant’ 1997 born in  Haridwar, Uttarakhand 

At Brisbane, against very heavy odds, in the 4th innings chase of 329 – Pant remained unbeaten on 89 playing a mature innings with gay abandon scoring runs freely and taking India to a grand win against the touted opponents.  

Today chasing 260 – India started disastrously and was losing wickets at frequent intervels - :  1-13 (Shikhar Dhawan, 2.1 ov), 2-21 (Rohit Sharma, 4.6 ov), 3-38 (Virat Kohli, 8.1 ov), 4-72 (Suryakumar Yadav, 16.2 ov), then Pant stitched a big partnership with Hardik, who left at 205 – there was a very long tail – literally 3+ no. 11 - Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj  but he took India home for an astounding win. 

India won by 5 wickets with ridiculous ease of 47 balls to spare – and David Willey heaved a big sigh of relief when Pant scored a single of the last ball of 42nd over – for it was a 20 run over in 5 balls.  The first ball was no cricketing shot – a swat back, flat batted down the ground to long off; 2nd swiveling pull behind square, 3rd classic cover drive, 4th  shuffled across and placed to fineleg, 5ht a brilliant straight drive to long on – it was 4,4,4,4,4 & 1.  

England threw in the towel – Joe Root came to bowl and Pant reverse-swept for 4 to conclude the match.  

Pant .. .. classy !!  - great finisher, fearless batter.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th July 2022. 

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