Team India completed yet another series victory at home after completing a thrilling six runs victory against the Kiwis in the deciding ODI at Thiruvananthapuram. Persistent rains didn’t allow play to start on time. The groundsmen did a terrific job to make the match possible as the pundits had already ruled out any chances of the match.
Despite scoring only 67 in their eight overs, the Indian bowlers did a commendable job to restrict the Kiwis to just 61 in their eight overs. Yuzvendra Chahal was the star for India despite not bagging a wicket as he conceded only eight runs in his two overs. It was Hardik Pandya who eventually held his nerves in the final over and handed India a sensational six runs victory to take the series 2-1.
It was a rain-curtailed game which was reduced to 8 overs a game affair. Kiwis skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and asked the hosts to bat. India scored seven runs in the opening over, but Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma fell in quick succession which never allowed the hosts to go for the onslaught.
Boundaries didn’t come on a consistent basis, but India continued the ones and the twos. Captain Kohli smashed a six and a four before falling cheaply to Ish Sodhi. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Eventually, the men in Blue huffed and puffed their way to 67 in their allotted eight overs. It was a not a match-winning total under any stress of imagination, but at least they could compete with the total.
The Indian bowlers did something better than their counterparts and made full use of the useful pitch conditions. The ball didn’t come on to the bat the way the batsmen would have liked, and that didn’t allow any of the Kiwis batsmen to hit the big shots. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bagged the wicket of Martin Guptill with a beautiful knuckle-ball which beat him on the outside and castled his timbers.
Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal was the best bowler for India despite not getting any wickets. In an eight-over game, he only conceded 8 in his two overs which were magnificent from the hosts. Kuldeep Yadav who made a comeback in the match was entrusted to bowl the 5th over. He went for a six of Colin de Granhomme for a six over the long-on region, but two wickets fell in that over.
One was in the form of a sensational run out by Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep bagged the wicket of Glenn Philips. Chahal bowled an exciting 6th over where he merely conceded nine runs which left the Kiwis needing 29 to win off the last two. Bumrah was given the penultimate over, and he did justice to his reputation. Despite a conceding an extra he conceded ten runs which were good given the scenario of the match.
Hardik Pandya was entrusted with the final over. Despite going for a huge six in the 3rd delivery of Colin de Granhomme, Pandya held his nerves and bowled some good deliveries which eventually kept the Kiwis 6 runs short of the Indian total.