Ki­wis beat In­dia to claim series

Chas­ing the 213-run tar­get, In­dia could score only 208/6 in their 20 overs

Millennium Post - - Mp Sport -

HAMIL­TON: New Zealand de­feated In­dia by four runs in the third and fi­nal Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional (T20I) to clinch the series 2-1, here on Sun­day.

Chas­ing the 213-run tar­get, In­dia could score only 208/6 in their 20 overs.

In­dia suf­fered their first blow early when opener Shikhar Dhawan was dis­missed by Mitchell Sant­ner in the first over.

Rookie all-rounder Vi­jay Shankar and Ro­hit Sharma came to­gether to add 75 runs be­tween them be­fore the for­mer was dis­missed af­ter mist­im­ing an at­tempted slog sweep off Sant­ner's bowl­ing.

Shankar was the top scorer for In­dia. He hit five bound­aries and two sixes in a quick­fire 28-ball in­nings that pro­duced 43 runs. The vis­i­tors were plunged into deeper trou­ble soon af­ter­wards as Rishabh Pant and Ro­hit Sharma were dis­missed in suc­ces­sive overs.

Ro­hit, who scored 38 runs off 32 balls, was look­ing good for a big score. But he went af­ter a Sant­ner de­liv­ery that was a bit wide out­side the off-stump only to of­fer an easy out­side edge to New Zealand wicket-keeper Tim Seifert.

Hardik Pandya smashed 21 runs off 11 de­liv­er­ies be­fore he was sent back to the pav­il­ion by Scott Kuggeleijn. When Daryl Mitchell claimed the prized wicket of Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni in the next over, the Ki­wis were well and truly on top.

Although Di­nesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya made a valiant at­tempt with a late 63-run stand off the last 28 balls, it did

not prove to be enough.

Karthik re­mained un­beaten on 33 runs off 16 balls while Krunal was not out on 26 off 13.

For the hosts, Sant­ner and Daryl Mitchell bagged two wick­ets each.

Ear­lier, a bril­liant top-or­der bat­ting dis­play helped New Zealand post a big to­tal of 212/4 in 20 overs. Colin Munro's 72 off 40 balls and Tim Seifert's 43-run knock set up a per­fect plat­form for the other bat­ters, which helped them post a big

to­tal. Apart from the duo, Colin de Grand­homme (30) and Kane Wil­liamson (27) also con­trib­uted hand­somely.

Put in to bat, New Zealand open­ers Seifert and Munro got off to a fly­ing start, slam­ming 80 runs in just 7.4 overs be­fore Seifert was stumped by Dhoni off chi­na­man Kuldeep Ya­dav. In his 25-ball stay, Seifert hit three bound­aries and as many sixes.

Un­per­turbed by the fall of the opener's wicket, Munro and skip­per Wil­liamson joined

hands for a 55-run stand for the sec­ond wicket to help New Zealand get past the 130-run mark in 13 overs. Just when things seemed good in the mid­dle, Munro was dis­missed by Kuldeep in 13.2 overs. He slammed five bound­aries and as many sixes, which also in­cluded some beau­ti­fully crafted shots.

Grand­homme and wil

liamson then tried to main­tain the flow of runs at the same pace. But in the process, Wil

liamson de­parted. The skip- per was sent pack­ing by pacer Khaleel Ahmed in 14.4 overs when score­board was read­ing 150 runs. De­spite the wicket, Grand­homme kept on play­ing his shots be­fore his stay was cut short by pacer Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar in the penul­ti­mate over.

Daryl Mitchell (19) and Ross Tay­lor (14) re­mained un­beaten and fin­ished off the pro­ceed­ings.

For In­dia, Chi­na­man Kuldeep Ya­dav took two wick­ets, while Bhu­vnesh­war and Khaleel took a wicket each.

PIC/PTI

New Zealand team with the tro­phy af­ter vic­tory against In­dia in their twenty/20 cricket in­ter­na­tional in Hamil­ton, New Zealand, Sun­day

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