India sealed their 8th consecutive bilateral series with a 6 run win over New Zealand in the 3rd and final T20I at the Greenfield Stadium at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. With the match being curtailed by rain, Kane Williamson won the toss at elected to bowl in an 8-over match for each sides. Led by Southee and Sodhi, who claimed two wickets each, the visitors restricted the Men in Blue to 67-4 in the first innings.
However, despite piling on the pressure early on in the 2nd innings, the Black Caps lost their way, losing wickets at regular intervals as they failed to keep the required run rate in control. Kohli’s men ran out comfortable winners in the end.
Earlier in the first innings, Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi picked up two wickets each as they restricted India to 67-4 in the series decider at the Greenfield Stadium on Sunday. Manish Pandey and Hardik Pandya were the top scorers in India’s short batting spell.
New Zealand were left to chase 68 runs to win the series got of to bad start when they lost Guptil to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Indian spinners Chahal and Bumrah put a strangehold the defence with combined figures of 4-0-17-2. New Zealand scored 44 off their other four overs, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Colin Munro began the chase ominously, stepping out to the first ball he faced and launching Bhuvneshwar Kumar over the midwicket boundary. Bhuvneshwar pulled things back through the rest of the over with a succession of knuckle balls, the last of them sneaking past Martin Guptill’s slog and rattling his off stump, and New Zealand were 8 for 1.
Munro’s wicket was the key wicket for India, and Bumrah prised him out with three excellent balls which all of them hitting the deck just short of a good length and forcing the left-hander to hit against the right-arm-over angle. Two dots forced Munro to charge out, Bumrah saw him coming and shortened his length, and his cross-bat heave skewed over mid-on, from where Rohit Sharma sprinted to completing a stunning catch.. Only three came off that over.
Chahal, relishing the grip and turn on offer, kept the ball wide of off stump to both right- and left-hander, and didn’t concede a single boundary in his two overs. Every second ball he bowled was a dot, and this was especially commendable given the pressure he bowled in.