What a nerve-wracking decider it turned out to be at the Green Park in Kanpur as both India and New Zealand fought hard and played some exceptional brand of cricket, but it was the Men in Blue who eventually prevailed by six runs to seal the match and the series. It has been a magnificent comeback by the home team especially after losing the opening encounter quite comprehensively.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli scored centuries for India as the home team posted a daunting total of 337 on the board at the end of their allotted 50 overs. New Zealand was in the chase for the majority of the game, but a sensational piece of death bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah prevented the Kiwis to create history.
Rohit Sharma roars back to form with a brilliant 147
Rohit missed out in the first two matches but made amends in the 3rd and the final encounter today as he scored a brilliant 147 to announce his return to form. He was simply magnificent during his stay and paced his innings to perfection. He began with a few beautiful drives and looked in complete command from the outset. He struck the occasional big shots whenever the run rate went down and never allowed the pressure to mount for India.
After completing his 15th ODI century, Rohit went berserk and started finding the gaps on a consistent basis as there was no stopping him. He was in line for yet another double century, but eventually, after making 147, he was holed out in the deep in an attempt to clear the ropes. His innings came off 138 deliveries and was studded with 18 fours and a couple of sixes.
Virat Kohli continues his purple patch and scores his 32nd ODI century
Kohli has been in sensational form and carried on from where he left in the opening encounter. It was another crafty innings which were built around another great knock by Rohit Sharma. Kohli began with some terrific drives and never looked in any discomfort what so ever. Along with Rohit, the duo was looking to set a daunting target for the Kiwis.
He relied more on the singles and doubles but also struck the boundaries whenever the pressure was mounting. He reached yet another century but soon after reaching the landmark; he was dismissed in a bid to score quick runs. His innings of 113 came off 106 deliveries which contained nine fours and a solitary six.
Colin Munro takes the Indian bowlers to the cleaners
Opener Colin Munro struck a magnificent 75, and during his stay in the innings, he tormented the Indian bowlers especially the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who has been a sensational limited overs in the last few months so far. He struck his very first ball for a huge six over the square leg region and repeated the same shot to Bhuvi a few overs later.
He looked in ominous touch and was looking to take the game away from the hosts until Yuzvendra Chahal bamboozled him with a big leg break which breached his defence and disturbed the timbers.
Tom Latham’s brilliant knock
Southpaw Tom Latham played yet another magnificent knock and almost handed New Zealand their first ever series victory on Indian soil. From the outset, he looked in excellent touch and was hardly troubled by any of the bowlers. He was also finding the gaps quite consistently which didn’t allow the pressure to mount as far as the visitors were concerned.
He struck some exceptional shots square of the wicket whenever he got a room and made full use of the loose deliveries bowled by the Indian bowlers. He had taken New Zealand within touching distance of the Indian target when an uncharacteristic lapse in concentration cost New Zealand badly as Latham was run out by Bumrah. His well-constructed innings of 65 came off 52 deliveries which included seven hits to the fence.
Brilliant death bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah
Despite having a mediocre day in the office, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a stunning comeback in his final two overs, and along with Jasprit Bumrah, the duo prevented New Zealand from scoring 35 in their last four overs. Bhuvneshwar conceded five runs in the 47th over and castled Henry Nicholls with a brilliant Yorker.
Bumrah backed it up with another great over as the visitors needed 25 of the last 2. Bhuvneshwar despite conceding a six in the penultimate over managed to keep the New Zealand batsmen to 10 runs.
Bumrah bowled a sensational final over as the Yorkers, and slower deliveries perfectly came out of his hand. India eventually managed to win by six runs and sealed the series by a 2-1 mark.