India falls agonisingly short in a thriller
The Kiwis claim the T20I series 2-1 to deny India a perfect finish to the twin tour
New Zealand denied India a perfect finish to a highly successful tour down under by clinching the T20I series 2-1 with a narrow four-run win in the third T20I on Sunday.
Exploiting batting-friendly conditions at the small Seddon Park ground, New Zealand cut the Indian attack to shreds to post an imposing 212 for four. Opener Colin Munro produced a 40-ball 72 and shared an 80-run stand with fellow-opener Tim Seifert (43) to lay the foundation for a big score.
India captain Rohit Sharma made an uncharacteristic 32-ball 38, hurting India’s chances. Vijay Shankar (43 off 28) played a useful knock at No. 3 after Shikhar Dhawan (5) fell early.
Rishabh Pant (28 off 12) and Hardik Pandya (21, 11b) infused some life into India’s chase with some brutal hitting but perished while trying to keep up with a steep asking rate. M.S. Dhoni (2) fell cheaply.
India needed 16 off the final over and Dinesh Karthik (33 n.o., 16b), after taking two off the first ball, stunned the crowd and his teammates by refusing to run a single off the third ball. Krunal (26 n.o., 13b) had reached the striker’s end but Karthik sent him back.
Karthik could only manage a single off the next ball and though he smashed a six off the final delivery, it was too little too late.
Punishing blade: Colin Munro’s blazing effort took New Zealand to a big total.