England’s Sam Curran has played the innings of his life but he narrowly failed to drag his side back from the brink in their one-day international decider against India.
India won by seven runs on Sunday to claim the ODI 2-1 and secure a clean sweep over visiting England, who also lost the Test and Twenty20 legs.
But Curran’s improbable rescue job from number eight turned a lost cause into a nail-biting finale in Pune.
England were 6-168 chasing 330 when he walked to the crease, but he showed scant regard for the oppressive match situation as he heaved his way to a remarkable 95 not out.
The 22-year-old’s previous best in ODIs was just 15, while his highest score in any white-ball cricket stood at 57.
And yet, after being dropped in costly fashion by Hardik Pandya on just 22 he refused to be stopped.
With only the tail for company he set up a 50th-over shootout but could not clear the final hurdle as Thangarasu Natarajan prevented the two big hits England needed for glory. England finished on 9-322.
Shardul Thakur claimed 4-67 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with 3-42.
England won the toss and sent the home side in to bat, with Mark Wood’s 3-34 helping to avert an even larger score for India.
Rishabh Pant (78), Shikhar Dhawan (67) and Hardik Pandya (64) all scored half centuries for India.