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

The Hindu - - SPORT -

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.

Im­pos­ing to­tal

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.

In­fus­ing life

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.

AFP ■

Pun­ish­ing blade: Colin Munro’s blaz­ing ef­fort took New Zealand to a big to­tal.

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