The Pioneer : 2019-02-11

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" ## $ % & # ' % &( ( & ) ' " * N ew Zealand denied India a perfect finish to their highly successful tour Down Under by clinching the T20 series 2-1 with a narrow four-run win in the seriesdeciding third match at Seddon Park on Sunday. India savoured a historic Test and ODI bilateral series win in Australia before recording their biggest ODI series win on New Zealand soil. A first ever T20 series win would have been an icing on the cake but the hosts held their nerves to pull off a thrilling victory. With Sunday's result, India have lost their first T20 series after winning nine and drawing one. India needed to knock off a stiff 213-run target to bring curtains on a memorable threemonth tour in a befitting manner but fell just short. 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 a 80-run stand with fellow opener Tim Seifert (43) to lay foundation for a big score. Krunal Pandya was the most expensive of the Indian bowlers, bleeding 54 runs in his four-over quota. If it was not for left-arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (2/26)'s tight bowling in the middle- overs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/37), India would have got a bigger target to chase. India captain Rohit Sharma, who usually bats explosive in such situations, made an uncharacteristical 32-ball 38 , # ' - $ mance was our best, there were learnings in the second game. Both teams put in strong performances tonight, we did slightly better," said Williamson. Opener and man of the match Colin Munro said it was anybody's game with India needing 16 off the final over. "It was touch and go there until the final minute. India — you get one good batsman, another one comes along. The boys did a really good job of finishing off the really good Indian batsmen," said Munro. On his 72 off 40 balls, he added: "I didn't really focus on trying to do anything different, tried to put pressure back on the bowlers. Just came out nice and free, had a bit of luck, which you certainly need in this match." India captain Rohit Sharma said his team will return home with lots of positives despite a "disappointing" 1-2 defeat in the three-match T20 series. A first ever T20 series win would have been an icing on the cake but the hosts held their nerves to pull off a thrilling fourrun victory on Sunday. "Disappointing to not cross the line but we fought well right till the end. 210 odd (213 target) was always going to be tough, but we were in it till the end. They held their nerve and kept hitting their yorkers," said Rohit at the post-match presentation. "Still lot of positives, we started well with the ODIs, wanted to do well here but the boys throughout the tour were excellent, put in a lot of hard work. They will be disappointed tonight but we've to learn from the mistakes we made and move ahead." India next host Australia for two T20s and five ODIs, starting in Vizag on February 24. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said his team will take a lot of confidence from the T20 triumph against India into the home series against Bangladesh. "Brilliant high- scoring game, a great advertisement for T20 cricket. The first perfor- ' ' ! " ! " # $ & " & # % ' ( % + + when Rohit brought Kuldeep and the leg-spinner straight away made an impact, by getting Seifert stumped with Dhoni's lightening quick hands at work. Munro kept going strong as he hammered Krunal for a six to raise the team's 100 in the 11th over. Again it was Kuldeep who came to team's rescue by seeing the back of dangerous-looking Munro while Khaleel Ahmed got rid of Williamson (27). There was no respite for the Indian bowlers as Daryl Mitchell (19) and Ross Taylor (14 off 7) helped New Zealand finish the innings strongly by smashing 61 runs in the last five overs. Both Karthik and Krunal did exceedingly well to take the game into the final over but their unbeaten 63-run stand off 28 balls did not prove to be enough. New Zealand bowlers fared much better than India, consistently hitting the short-oflength, which proved to be key on this small ground. Earlier, Bhuvneshwar was hit for a six by Munro in his first over but the lean pacer responded with splendid block-hole deliveries in the next over. The Kiwis though did keep a very healthy run-rate, racing to 50 in just 5.2 overs. Indian bowlers had conceded 79 runs in first seven overs ! ) *+ !,!* +!* !+ - . ,! &!! / ! 0! &- ! + + ! . ! * !*,!+ 1- )) * / , *23 +- . 2$+ *!+- 4 . ,! + ! * ) *+ +!* !+ ) !* / ! . .* / ! a double off the first ball, stunned the crowd and his teammates by refusing to take a single in the third ball. Krunal (26 not out off 30) had reached the striker's end but Karthik did not run, sending his partner back. This was after umpire did not give a clear wide bowled by Tim Southee. Karthik could only manage a single off the next ball as Southee bowled a straight ball. By then, the match had clearly slipped out of India's hands. and it also hurt India's chances. Vijay Shankar (43 off 28) played a useful knock though at the top after Shikhar Dhawan (5) fell early. Rishabh Pant (28 off 12) and Hardik Pandya (21 off 11) infused some life into India's chase with some brutal hitting but perished while trying to keep up with a steep scoring rate. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2 off 4) also could not do much. India needed 16 runs off the final over and Dinesh Karthik (33 not out off 16) after taking %# % The Indian women's team almost pulled off a dramatic win but failed to score a boundary in the final delivery to lose the third and final T20 International against New Zealand by a mere two runs on Sunday. Chasing 162 for a win, star opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana took the Indian team on course for a consolation win with a career-best knock of 86 from 52 balls but the visiting side failed to build on her scintillating knock to end their innings at 159 for 4. With the three-match series already lost after defeats in the first and second T20Is, India surprisingly named senior player Mithali Raj in the playing eleven and she contributed 24 not out from 20 balls after coming to bat at the fall of captain Harmanpreet Kaur (2). But she failed to hit a four from the final delivery bowled by Leigh Kasperek as India lost the match by two runs. India needed 16 runs from the final over and Raj and Deepti Sharma (21 not out) raised hopes of a remarkable win by hitting boundaries in the first and third deliveries but were left to hit a four off the last ball. Mandhana, who had scored 58 and 36 in the first two matches, continued her redhot form by notching up her eight T20I fifty and second of the series as she dominated /' # # ( & " &( % % ! " against New Zealand bowlers yet again. With one-down Jemimah Rodrigues ( 21), the other batswoman who has been in fine touch, India reached 92 for 2 at the halfway stage. But after that, India could not force the pace of scoring and with captain Kaur failing to make a mark, the asking rate kept on climbing. When Mandhana was out in the 16th over, India needed 39 from 4.3 overs which was not an easy job. Raj and Deepti could not get too many boundaries and they were left with 16 to win from the final over. Electing to bat, New Zealand looked set to post a much bigger total by reaching 80 5 0 1 #6 7 ( %89 * : ; 0 5 ( ( + # % ( + 1 #6 7 ( 88 5 0 & " +; ' + + ! " ! # $ % & ! ' ( ) * " * ' * ! + ,-. ' ( /) 0 * 1# $ & ! ( / 2 3 * & 4 " 5 for 2 at the halfway stage but India came back strongly to force a batting collapse as the home side ended their innings at 161 for 7. Hard-hitting opener Sophie Devine top- scored with a sparkling 52-ball 72 which was laced with eight boundaries and two sixes while captain Amy Satterthwaite contributed 31. . % & India. I have never been that animated ever. I badly wanted to do it today and help the team get over the line but unfortunately, I couldn't," the southpaw said. Counting on the positives from the New Zealand tour, Mandhana said: "We have done a lot of good things. We really played well in the first two matches of the ODI series. But we became a little complacent after that and we will try to go with the same intensity in all the future matches." Mandhana was delighted to see the crowd response in the entire tour and hoped for same response from the fans of women's cricket in future. "Definitely, because the girls don't have the experience of playing in front of such good crowds. We generally get this sort of crowd in World Cup. If we can pull crowds in such series that will really be good, everyone will be prepared to play under pressure," she said. Whitewashed by New Zealand women in the three-match T20 series, India opener Smriti Mandhana on Sunday said her team needs to address its batting woes, especially after losing all the games from winning positions. Mandhana took the side on course for a consolation win with a career-best knock of 86 but the visitors failed to build on her scintillating knock to end the innings. "Well I think the girls fought really well. If you look back at the series and see, 70 or 80 per cent of the times we were in winning positions. That's a good take away but there are a lot of things which we can improve," said Mandhana. "We need to address those (batting) issues as soon as possible. We need someone who can bat through 20 overs and someone who can go in at the middle overs and get runs later on," she said. Mandhana returned as the highest run-getter in the T20 series, amassing 180 runs from three games at an average of 60, including two half-centuries. But she didn't get enough support from the other end and the left-hander rued her inability to get India home on Sunday. "I really wanted to finish the game for PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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