After winning a hat-trick of games on the trot, Virat Kohli and Co. continued their dominance by winning a super over in Wellington. The stand-in skipper Tim Southee led the team from the front in Kane Williamson’s absence as the latter was ruled out of the fourth match due to a sore shoulder.
However, that didn’t make any difference as far as the result was concerned. Just like the last match, the game got dragged into the super over. Super overs haven’t been that kind to New Zealand since the ICC World Cup 2019 tournament in England. The hosts scored 12 runs with the help of Colin Munro and Tim Seifert.
In reply, India won the super over with one ball remaining. KL Rahul gave India a much-needed start as he scored a six and a four in the first two balls off Southee. After Lokesh Rahul got out, Virat Kohli ensured to steer the team past the finishing line as India have taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match T20I series.
India are just a win away from whitewashing New Zealand. The fifth and final T20I will be played at Bay Oval Stadium, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga on February 2 (Sunday).
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first. The Indian team management rested Rohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. Sanju Samson was given a chance to showcase his mettle but unfortunately, he failed to do so.
KL Rahul provided a good start with his 26-ball-39 but India lost wickets in quick intervals at the other end. Hamish Bennett picked the prized scalp of Indian captain Virat Kohli, who got out for just 11 runs. Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi ripped through the defence of the Indian batting line-up by dismissing Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Shivam Dube.
Manish Pandey was the pick of the batsmen for India as he scored a 36-ball-50. His productive innings helped India post 165/8 in 20 overs.
In reply, New Zealand started off well despite early hiccups as they lost Martin Guptill for just 4.
Colin Munro and Seifert scored 64 and 57 respectively to take the team into the comfort zone. In a strange turn of events, both batsmen were run out in crunch situation of the game. After that, wickets fell like a pack of cards.
Shardul Thakur was named the player of the match
Thanks to Shardul Thakur, who brought the best out of himself to dismiss Ross Taylor and Daryl Mitchell as the pacer forced the game to go into the super over.
Thakur also contributed with the bat by scoring a 15-ball-20 with the help of two fours. Rightly so, Thakur for named the Player of the Match for his superb bowling spell. He returned with bowling figures of 2/33 in four overs.
“You couldn’t ask for anything more. This is what we play for, these nail-biting finishes. After the last game, we learned that we should never lose hope. If I bowl a dot ball or a wicket ball, the pressure is on them. It was important to stretch the partnership in the middle and should have carried on until the 19th and 20th over, so hopefully next time things turn out better for me,” Shardul Thakur said at the post-match presentation.