India had the chance to clinch the series in Ranchi against New Zealand after a heroic performance in Mohali. However, things didn’t go as planned with the hosts’ batting order collapsing as the chased the total of 260 that New Zealand had set. From 128/2 in the 27th over, India were reduced to 167/7 by the 36th over losing Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya in the process. Eventually, India were bowled out for 241 to lose by 19 runs.
With the top order failing to get the job done, it had set up into a perfect chance for Jadhav and Pandey to get the team over the line but they couldn’t rise to the occasion.
India’s tale though, looked like they could take the game away from New Zealand. With the team staring at defeat, Amit Mishra (14) and Axar Patel (38) put together 38 runs for the eighth wicket. This partnership came to a close when a mix-up brought the curtains down on Mishra’s stay in the middle. Axar played the ball down the leg side and almost came for the second before changing his mind. By then Mishra was halfway down the pitch and that allowed plenty of time for Mitchell Santner to throw the ball to BJ Watling who removed the bails.
In the same over, Axar’s fighting knock of 38 came to an end after he was bowled by Trent Boult with a fuller delivery that ricochet off the pad on the off stump.
This was followed by a 34 run-stand for the final wicket between Umesh Yadav and Dhawal Kulkarni. The latter hitting some meaty blows – two fours and a six – to give India slender hope.
But with the ask getting bigger, Umesh was holed down with eight balls to go off Boult and gave New Zealand the win.
Earlier Martin Guptill (72) top scored for New Zealand from the opening slot and put together 96 for the first wicket with Tom Latham. Later Kane Williamson (41) and Ross Taylor (35) were also amongst the runs to do the early damage.
The final match of the series will be played on Saturday, October 30, at Vishakhapatnam.
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