Thiruvananthapuram: The Indians held their nerve and produced an outstanding performance with the ball and in the field to win the third T20I in Thiruvananthapuram by six runs on Tuesday. Thus, they won the series 2-1.
In a game that was reduced to 8-overs a side due to the rains, New Zealand won the toss and sent India to bat first. Openers Rohit Sharma (8) and Shikhar Dhawan (6) fell once again trying to score some quick runs and India suddenly found themselves at 15/2 in 2.3 overs. But contributions from skipper Virat Kohli (13), Manish Pandey (17) and Hardik Pandya (14 n.o) helped India post 67 runs on the board.
In reply, the Indian pace bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah once again starred as they provided India with a great start-dismissing Colin Munro (7), and Martin Guptill (1) inside 1.3 overs with only 8 runs on the board.
Pandya’s stunning direct hit then sent back the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson for 8 runs and all of a sudden, the game looked to progress in the favour of the Indians. Glenn Philips however responded with 11 runs but fell to Kuldeep Yadav in the fifth over. Bumrah’s fantastic bowling in the penultimate over more or less ensured that the hosts would be walking away as the winners and Pandya restricted them to 61/7 at the end of their innings and Virat Kohli and his men romped to a 2-1 series win.
Bumrah was the best bowler for India with figures of 2/9 and thus he was adjudged the ‘Man-of-the-match’ as well as the ‘Man-of-the-series’.
India 67/6 in 8 overs ( Manish Pandey 17, Hardik Pandya 14 n.o; Ish Sodhi 2/13) beat New Zealand 61/6 (Colin De Grandhomme 17 n.o, Glenn Philips 11; Jasprit Bumrah 2/9) by six runs.