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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Rohit Sharma’s last-ball six in Super Over gives India first T20I series win in New Zealand

India defeated New Zealand in the third T20 International via Super Over to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series on Wednesday.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: January 29, 2020 11:35:17 pm
India’s Rohit Sharma celebrates with KL Rahul after hitting the winning runs in the super over to win the Twenty/20 cricket international between India and New Zealand in Hamilton. (AP Photo)

India defeated New Zealand in the third T20 International via Super Over to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series on Wednesday. Batting first, India had posted a competitive 179/5 which was matched by New Zealand who tied it with their own score- 179/4. The Kiwis’ effort was largely built around captain Kane Williamson’s masterclass.

Williamson followed it up with an unbeaten 11 in the Super Over but it just wasn’t enough as Rohit and K.L. Rahul (5*) took Tim Southee to the cleaners.

This after the game was tied as India pacer Mohammed Shami came up with a classic last over just when it looked like Williamson would take the Kiwis home.

Toss: New Zealand won a third straight toss, but opted to field this time around. The hosts made one change with Scott Kuggeleijn coming in for Blair Tickner. India remained unchanged.

First Innings: Rohit Sharma scored 65 runs off 40 balls as India posted 179/5.  Rohit’s blitz included six fours and three sixes as he put on 89 runs for the first wicket with KL Rahul (27 off 19 balls).

However, Rahul fell to Colin de Grandhomme (1/13) after which Shivam Dube (3) who was promoted to number three was out after facing a laborious seven deliveries, which also sucked the momentum out of the Indian innings. The pressure told at the other end as Rohit was dismissed off Bennett as well. India lost three wickets for seven runs in the space of three overs.

Skipper Virat Kohli (38 off 27 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (17 off 16 balls) tried to resurrect the innings with a 46-run partnership for the fourth wicket.  Iyer’s dismissal was the turning point, stumped off Mitchell Santner (1/37) in the 17th over. Two overs later, Kohli was caught at extra cover.

Manish Pandey (14 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (10 not out) pushed the score past 170 but India fell short of a 200-score the openers had set up.

2nd Innings: Chasing 180, the Kiwis got off to blistering start with openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill going all guns blazing from the onset. Guptill made his intentions with a six of Shardul Thakur in the first over itself. However, it was Thakur who had the last laugh when he got rid of Guptill (31 off 24 balls) with an innocuous delivery in the last over of the powerplay. Munro followed suit when Ravindra Jadeja had him stumped (14 off 16 balls) in the very next over.

Like India’s move to send Shivam Dube up the order fell flat, the Kiwis decision to send Mitchell Santner also failed to reap any rewards as he was gone for just 9 off 11 balls. But from thereon skipper Kane Williamson took charge and scored a 48-ball 95. It was his knock which took New Zealand to the brink of victory but a brilliant last over by Mohammad Shami took the match into the Super Over.

In the Super Over, New Zealand scored 17, a target which India overwhelmed in the final ball with Rohit smashing Tim Southee for two consecutive sixes. He was duly adjudged as the Man of the Match.

Brief Scores:

India- 179/5 in 20 overs. (R Sharma 65, V Kohli 38, KL Rahul 27; Hamish Bennett 3/54.

New Zealand- 179/6 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 95; Shardul Thakur 2/21).

(With PTI inputs)

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