India beat New Zeland by seven runs in the fifth and final T20 International at the Bay Oval to complete a clean sweep over the Kiwis in the five-match T20I series on Sunday. Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma battled a calf injury on way to his 60 off 41 balls before retiring hurt as India managed 163/3. In reply, the hosts were restricted to 156/9.
The Indian pacers, led by ever-reliable Jasprit Bumrah, shared seven wickets among them for 25 runs in match-changing 7.2 overs. Bumrah conceded just 12 runs in his four overs and picked up three wickets to win the Man of the Match award.
Chasing the target, Tim Seifert (50) and Ross Taylor (53) kept the Black Caps in the hunt but once again the hosts capitulated near the finishing line.
Toss: India won the toss and opted to bat. Virat Kohli was expectedly rested, with Sharma coming in, and it was the only change for India from Wellington. Rishabh Pant was ignored once again. For New Zealand, Kane Williamson didn’t recover on time and Tim Southee led the side once again.
1st innings: Sanju Samson (2) continued to open the innings but failed to impress yet again. KL Rahul (45), who has been in sensational form in this series added 88 runs for the second wicket with Rohit as India once again got a well-set platform to build upon. But Rahul’s dismissal in the 12th over against the run of play coupled with Rohit’s injury pegged back the men in blues.
2nd innings: In reply, New Zealand stuttered at the start losing Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, and Tom Bruce within the first three overs and scoreboard reading 17/3. Taylor and Seifert came together at that juncture and forged a 99-run partnership to bail out their side out of trouble. Seifert’s wicket in the 13th over triggered a mini-collapse that pushed the Kiwis on the backfoot. Ish Sodhi smacked 16 off 10 balls to provide some fireworks at the end but it was not enough.
Turning Point: Young Navdeep Saini’s strike in the 13th over to remove Tim Seifert was probably the deciding moment of this match as New Zealand were looking to launch themselves at that point. For the second game in a row, the New Zeland wicketkeeper got to his fifty but failed to carry on from the point as India got a chance to come back into the game.
Brief Score: IND 163/3 (20.0) | NZ 156/9 (20.0)
(With PTI inputs)
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