New Zealand beat India by four runs in the third and final T20I to seal the three-match series 2-1.

After conceding 212 runs, India had to no option but to attack right from the word go. However, they suffered a big setback as Shikhar Dhawan departed for just 5 in the first over. But Vijay Shankar provided the visitors with the much-needed impetus by playing a quick knock of 43 off just 28 balls. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, looked more than happy to play the role of the second fiddle.  Rishabh Pant also started brightly and hit three sixes in no time. However, one of the big heaves went straight to Kane Williamson as the youngster departed for 28 with India reeling at 121 for 3.

Hardik Pandya, promoted in the batting oder, started off with a six to make things clear. But India’s chase took a huge blow when Daryl Mitchell made Rohit edge one to the wicketkeeper as New Zealand clawed their way back in the game.

Soon after Rohit’s departure Pandya miscued one to leave India five down for 145. The equation was finally down to 68 off the last five overs. But just two balls later, Dhoni departed too after scoring just 2. Krunal Pandya and Dinesh Karthik then steadied the ship. India finally needed 16 off the last over.

 

Earlier in the game, Rohit Sharma’s decision to bowl first just like first T20I once again backfired. The Indian bowlers with the exception of recalled Kuldeep Yadav were hit all around the park once again. Tim Seifert and Colin Munro gave the Kiwis a strong start as they fired on all cylinders right from the word go.

The two added 80 runs inside 8 overs before a moment of brilliance from MS Dhoni gave India the much-needed first breakthrough. Seifert failed to read a delivery from Kuldeep Yadav and raised his feet off the ground for a fraction of second but it was enough for Dhoni to take off the bails with a lightning quick stumping. But it did not affect Munro as he kept on playing the big shots. Consequently, New Zealand were scoring at almost 10 runs per over. By the time Munro departed after scoring 72 off just 40, New Zealand had raced away to 135 for 2.

Colin de Grandhomme then played the perfect cameo of 30 from 16 balls to keep the hosts on track for a big total. Daryl Mitchell and Ross Taylor then played handy knocks towards the end, helping New Zealand finish on 212 for 4.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:

https://twitter.com/Karangillaus/status/1094511454596796416

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