New Zealand again suffered Super Over heartbreak as India beat them in a thriller at Seddon Park on Wednesday. The win, India’s first in T-20’s in NZ outside Auckland, saw the visitors clinch the five match series 3-0.
Here are our talking points from the game.
1. New Zealand fluff their lines badly
New Zealand had two glorious chances to seal this game- once when they needed 2 to win of 4 balls in the last over of the game, and the other when they had 10 to defend of 2 balls in the Super Over. Unfortunately they fluffed their lines on both occasions and fell to a disappointing defeat. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Rohit Sharma, the batsman who hit two sixes in the Super Over, could have been dismissed earlier had the Black Caps not messed up a straightforward run out opportunity.
It was deja vu for the NZ fans after their World Cup final heartbreak last year.
2. Williamson knock goes in vain
Kane Williamson played a fine hand in Hamilton, almost single-handedly dragging his team to victory. His 95 (48) should have seen him on the winning side but for the Black Caps’ meltdown at the end. Williamson also managed to get runs off Jasprit Bumrah at the death- a feat that seemed well beyond the abilities of his team mates in Auckland.
3. Hitman delivers for India
The Indian vice captain, after rare twin failures in Auckland finally came to the party here with 65 off 40 that featured six fours & three sixes. Sharma also virtually grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat in the Super Over, hitting Tim Southee for consecutive sixes to win the game for the Men in Blue.
4. A rare off day for Jasprit Bumrah
This was a rare bad day at the office for Jasprit Bumrah. He was taken apart by Williamson, going for 45 in his regular 4 over spell as well as 17 in the Super Over. Have New Zealand figured a way to counter India’s best bowler or was this a false dawn, given their previous struggles against him?
5. Shami successfully defends 2 off 4 balls with Williamson and Taylor at the crease
With Bumrah having a off day, the onus of defending 9 from the final over fell to Mohammed Shami. His first ball was a dreadful full toss, duly dispatched by Taylor for six. Taylor took a single of the next ball leaving the well-set Williamson to face Shami with 2 to get from 4. The Moradabad speedster however outwitted the Black Caps- he got rid of Williamson with a wide bouncer, then delivered two balls that Tim Seifert was simply unable to get a bat on, (NZ ran a bye) and then bowled Taylor on the final ball of the innings.
Rohit Sharma said after the game that Shami was the real hero of India’s victory and perhaps aptly- this was akin to pulling a rabbit out of the hat and brought back memories of India’s victory under similar circumstances against Bangladesh in the T-20 World Cup in 2016.