Team India held its nerves and clinched a nail-biting thriller against New Zealand in the 3rd and the decisive encounter at the Green Park in Kanpur to secure the series 2-1.
It was India’s 7th straight bilateral series win as they managed to keep their record against the Kiwis at home intact. Despite New Zealand’s valiant effort, the pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah bowled a sensational final four overs to help India snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Riding on brilliant centuries by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, the hosts posted a daunting 337 on the board at the end of their 50 overs. It was effortless batting by the duo as they made light work of the New Zealand bowlers and treated them with disdain. The duo shared a brilliant 230-run stand for the 2nd wicket and also became the first pair in ODI’s to notch up four double-century stands.
While Rohit Sharma made amends after missing out in the first two ODI’s, captain Kohli continued from where he left in the opening encounter and completed his 32nd ODI century in style. Rohit Sharma was looking set for yet another double century, but at the score of 147 he played a lazy shot and mistimed Mitchell Santner straight to the deep fielder stationed at the boundary ropes.
Kohli too fell at a crucial juncture which prevented Indian from going beyond the 350-mark. New Zealand was in the chase for the majority of the game courtesy exceptional knocks by Colin Munro, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham. Munro got the visitors off to a sensational start and shared a century partnership with Williamson for the 2nd wicket.
Despite losing wickets in quick succession, it was Tom Latham who kept New Zealand alive and played some exceptional shots square of the wicket in the process. The southpaw had taken the Kiwis within touching distance of the target as they needed only 35 to win from the final four overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had a horrendous day till then produced a magical 17th over which was backed up by Jasprit Bumrah.
The lanky speedster successfully defended the 15 runs in the final over to hand India a six runs victory in the end. Indian Tennis ace Sania Mirza was overjoyed after their victory and took to twitter handle to congratulate the team on yet another series victory. “Congratulations yet again @BCCI @imVkohli and the boys for the series win ab toh aadat si hogayi ha,” she tweeted.
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) October 29, 2017
India will now face the same opponents in a three-match T20I series starting at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Wednesday.