India captain Rohit Sharma expressed disappointment after New Zeland beat India by four runs in the series-deciding third Twenty20 International (T20I) in Hamilton on Sunday. Chasing 213, India took the match down to the wire but ultimately fell short by a whisker. Needing 16 runs of the last over, Dinesh Karthik ( 33 off 16) made a valiant effort but India were restricted to 208/6 in 20 overs.
Skipper Rohit Sharma was disappointed that the men in blue could not get the job done. ” Pretty disappointing to not get to the finishing line. 210-odd was always going to be tough, and we were in the game right till the end, but New Zealand held their nerve well and they deserved to win,” Sharma said at the post-match presentation.
“We started off well in the ODIs, and the boys will be disappointed not getting to the finishing line in the T20s. Lots of positives, and a few mistakes, so there’s a lot of material to move ahead. It would have been nice to win the series and go home and play Australia, but unfortunately we couldn’t do that,” he added.
Earlier, India won the toss and invited the Kiwis to bat first. Exploiting batting-friendly conditions at a small Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand cut the Indian attack to shreds from the start.
Opener Colin Munro scored a 40-ball 72 for which he was adjudged as the player of the match. “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. 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,” Munro said.
New Zeland captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the win, “What a brilliant advertisement for T20 cricket. It’s great to get across the line tonight. It was a fairly short series,” Williamson said after the match.
“The first performance (first T20I) was our best, and there were some learnings in the second one. We knew India would come back strong. For it to go to the last couple of balls with the series on the line, it was a great series to be a part of. The nature of international cricket is such that there is an ODI series against Bangladesh, so looking forward to that as well,” he concluded.