Colin Munro scored a brilliant 72 as New Zealand beat India by four runs in the third T20 International in Hamilton to win the three-match series 2-1 on Sunday.
After being sent into bat by Rohit Sharma, the New Zealand opening pair of Tim Seifert and Colin Munro got their team off to a brilliant start, as they added 80 runs in 46 balls, before Kuldeep Yadav provided a vital breakthrough for the visitors by Seifert stumped by MS Dhoni for 43.
Munro and Williamson added 55 runs for the second wicket, before the former eventually holed out to Hardik Pandya in the deep, with Yadav again the wicket taker.
In the very next over Kane Williamson fell when he pulled a rising delivery from Khaleel Ahmed to Kuldeep.
India were shockingly poor in the field, with several catches and misfields, particularly off Pandya’s bowling, and the MI all rounder expressed his frustration by hitting his head with his hands.
Colin de Grandhomme’s cameo and some lusty hitting from Ross Taylor and Daryl Mitchell towards the end propelled New Zealand past the 200 run mark. In the end they ended up with 212/4 in their allotted 20 overs.
Kuldeep was India’s best bowler as he finished with figures of 2/26 in his 4 overs, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed bagged a wicket each.
Chasing a mammoth score of 213, the visitors suffered an early jolt as Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed caught for 5, with the two Mitchells- bowler Santner and fielder Daryl, combining to send him back to the pavillion.
Vijay Shankar along with skipper Rohit Sharma added 75 runs for the second wicket before the latter fell for a well made 43.
Rishabh Pant slammed 2 sixes and four with his first three shots and was on course for more before Blair Tickner ended his stay at the wicket, with the batsman hitting a full toss to Williamson at mid wicket.
Sharma looked scratchy in his innings, never quite hitting the heights we know he’s capable of, and eventually edged a Mitchell delivery to Seifert. Hardik Pandya looked threatening in his 11 ball 21 before a quick delivery from Scott Kuggeleijn accounted for him. Three balls later, India lost MS Dhoni for 2, with the former Indian skipper forced to hit from the onset in light of the rising run rate.
With 68 runs needed in 28 balls, Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya kept India in the hunt with some fine strokes, and the duo took 32 off overs 18 and 19 to leave the visitors needing 16 off the final over. Just as the women (who also needed 16) fell short against their Kiwi counterparts, India’s men only managed 11, with Tim Southee holding his nerve.
The two Mitchells claimed 2 wickets apiece, while Scott Kuggeleijn and debutant Blair Tickner chipped in with a wicket each
Colin Munro was declared the player of the match, while Tim Seifert won the Man of the series award.