Cyclone Kyant was all over the weather forecasts of Vishakhapatnam and there was little chance of the match happening today. The weather held up pretty well and the match happened; there was a cyclone as well – Amit Mishra. Cyclone Mishra spun his wrist around the New Zealand batting for 6 overs and what was left after was devastation and disappointment for the Kiwis. New Zealand were bundled out for just 79 runs in 23.1 overs to give India a series winning 190 run win.
India won the toss and alarmed by the result in the previous match, decided to bat first for a change. Rahane and Rohit came out batting carefully on a slow pitch. Just as they looked to get a move on, Rahane chipped one straight into the hand of short mid-wicket to end the 40 run opening partnership in the 10th over. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma joined hands to take the innings to its next stage and scored at a brisk pace, courtesy of some Rohit Special hits; the best being the backfoot punch for six over long off that too against the pace of Jimmy Neesham. Both the batsmen were scoring runs at a decent pace but not without some luck. Both the batsmen were dropped atleast once and survived some anxious moments at the crease. The slowness of the pitch was starting to show. Rohit injured his leg while taking a single and as a result, perished sometime later, in the lookout for big runs as he was not comfortable while running. Before being dismissed, Rohit laid the perfect platform for India to build their innings thereon. Rohit scored 70 off just 65 balls that included 3 sixes and 5 boundaries and got a partnership of 79 runs with Kohli.
Skipper MS Dhoni came out to bat at No. 4 and started very slowly as the ball was not coming on due to the slowness of the pitch and add to that Dhoni’s decreasing ability to rotate strike freely, specially in the initial part of his innings. He had no problems attacking though. Dhoni batted a lot of dot balls but his 4 boundaries and 1 six helped him to 41 off 59 balls before getting trapped in front, trying to sweep Mitchell Santner. Kohli was batting with grit at the other end and had got his half century in the process but the wickets of Dhoni and the Pandey (0) in quick succession affected his flow as well. He added 25 runs with Kedar Jadhav and then perished trying to get quick runs in the final overs. Kohli scored 65 runs off 76 balls. It was upon Kedar Jadhav and new man Axar Patel to get India to a decent total and they added 46 runs in 39 balls together on a very difficult pitch to propel India to 269 for 6. Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi took 2 wickets each while Neesham and Santner got a wicket apiece.
A target of 270 was very competitive on this track but the possibility of dew could have hampered India’s chances. India played smart and did not let the match go to the distance where dew could be a problem. They bundled New Zealand out for a paltry 79 in 23.1 overs. The first to go was opener Martin Guptill, who was bowled again by Umesh Yadav in the first over for a duck. Tom Latham and Kane Williamson started well but Latham fell to leading edge off Bumrah for 19 runs in the sixth over as the second wicket for New Zealand. Williamson was looking good until he mistimed a lofted shot off Axar Patel straight to long off for 27 and that was the moment everything fell apart. From 63 for 2 in the 15th over, New Zealand folded to 79 all out in the next 8 overs, Amit Mishra playing the destroyer in chief. Mishra sent Taylor, Neesham, Watling, Southee and Sodhi back in a space of 3 overs, displaying his wide range of variety. Debutant Jayant Yadav chipped in with 1 wicket on his debut as Axar Patel took the last Kiwi wicket to finish wit 2 wickets. Mishra was adjudged the man of the match for his figures of 6-2-18-5
Before the start of this series, India were the favourites but by the end of the 4th match, both teams had an equal chance. Now, as India take the series 3-2, it was an anti-climax, the way New Zealand performed. India would be very pleased with their performance and would like to carry the same forward in the long home season.