India clips Kiwi wings to clinch T20 series

In a rain-curtailed affair, India defeated New Zealand by 6 runs to win the T20 series on Tuesday.

Martin Guptill loses his wicket to Bhuvneshwar Kumar on Tuesday.   -  AFP

India scripted a brilliant six-run win to notch up its first ever Twenty20 series win over New Zealand at the Sports Hub, Kariyavattom on Tuesday.
 

Scoreboard and ball-by-ball details

The final encounter of the three-match series for the Paytm Trophy was a nerve-wrecking one as the match was limited to eight overs a side following a three-hour delay caused by rain.


Kane Williamson was lucky with the spin of the coin for a third time in a row and India, asked to bat first, was limited to 67 for five that gave the visitor an asking rate of 8.38 runs an over.
 

However, in reply the Kiwis were able only to get to 61 for six in the alloted overs as the Indian bowlers, especially spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav stopped New Zealand in its tracks and shaped up a memorable win for the home side.
 

PHOTO FEATURE:  India vs NZ - Top performances

The chase as it was a tough tumble for the Kiwis as openers Martin Guptill and the dangerous Colin Munro never got going before being dismissed cheaply. Guptill, nowhere in line of the last delivery of the first over, was bowled by Bhuvaneswar Kuma while Munro was caught by
Rohit Sharma just outside the circle off the bowling of Bumrah– a stunner with the Indian jumping over his shoulder to latch on to the ball.

With the brakes being applied as such, the screws were further tightened by Chahal who hardly gave anything away and Yadav whose over fetched two wickets – getting the Kiwi skipper run out and Glenn Phillips caught by Dhawan off successive deliveries.

This left the visitor with a mounting run-rate and under extreme pressure the Kiwis simply wilted with the Indians pressing hard in the final two overs – the last one by Hardik Pandya which only exposed the lack of an adequate fifth bowler among the home team ranks.

Jasprit Bumrah for his spell of 2 for nine was adjudged as the Man of the Match and also ended up with the Man of the Series.

The Indian innings, in comparison, too was one of bits and pieces as none of its batsmen could get to a high score for the expecting sell out crowd.

With hardly any enough breathing time to have a close look at the virgin pitch, the Indian openers were thus left with no option but to provide the much-required momentum straightaway.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan seemed to be cut out for the task as they scored at a run-rate of seven in the opening two overs. However, into the third over, both Dhawan and Sharma were accounted by Tim Southee off successive deliveries.

Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer too were unable to add much, though the Indian skipper showed his fire-power by carting Ish Sodhi for a boundary and a six off successive deliveries. He was dismissed in the same over as Boult took the catch at midwicket.

As the Kiwis went through the overs quickly, Manish Pandey top-scored for the host with 17 while Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten on 14. Southee and Sodhi finished with two wickets each.

The weather, as was expected, had a huge impact on the game as the start was delayed by close to three hours. What had started as a slight drizzle at 2.52 p.m., soon turned into a deluge through the next hour or so.

With around 90-minutes remaining for the 7 p.m. start, the rain did stop completely enabling the ground staff to move in and press the two super soppers into service. However, once the outer covers were moved out, the heavens opened up yet again forcing the covers to remain in place. The skies cleared up 73 minutes after the scheduled start.

The crowd, though having milled around the stadium soon after day break, were initially hesitant to take to the seats but almost every seat was taken as time wore on. Even though the locals were frustrated with the wait, their spirits never dimmed.


Eventually the match commenced much to the relief of the officials and spectators.