India's captain Hardik Pandya with the T20 trophy. Picture courtesy of Getty Images.
The final game of the series in Napier ended in a tie giving India the series win thanks to their solitary win in Mount Maunganui. The action now moves to Auckland where the three match ODI series starts on Friday.
Zealand vs India - 3rd T20I - New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first
Zealand 160 all out in 19.4 overs (Conway 59, Phillips 54, Siraj 4/17, Arshdeep
4/37) vs India 75 for 4 in 9 overs (Pandya 30, Southee 2/27) match tied using
the D/L method.
This was quite a unique series. I cannot
remember the last time I saw a two match series (remember game one in
Wellington was abandoned without a ball being bowled) that produced so much
action. We saw a brilliant hundred, a hat trick, 3 fifty’s, two 4 wicket hauls
and a match ending in a tie after a rain interruption.
It was surprising that New Zealand won the
toss and chose to bat first when there was lots of rain in the air. With
captain Kane Williamson missing this game Devon Conway and Glen Phillips took
responsibility and at one stage with the score on 130 for 2 the blackcaps were
in a commanding position.
They don’t call cricket a game of
uncertainties for no reason. A collapse of epic proportions followed where New
Zealand lost 7 wickets for 30 runs to be bowled out for a well below par score
of 160. The damage was done by India’s seamers Mohammed Siraj (4/17) and
Arshdeep Singh (4/37). Siraj in particular was brilliant with his hard lengths
and effective use of the short ball. After a tough induction into T20 cricket
Siraj seems to have found the right line and length for this format.
India’s run chase was action packed. 4
wickets in 9 overs interspersed with 7 boundaries and 3 sixes. Captain Hardik
Pandya had one eye on the rain radar and the other on the DLS par score to make
sure India always kept up with the asking rate. Finally when the rain arrived
India was exactly on par with the required score and with no resumption
possible the match ended in a tie.
India won the series thanks to their
dominant win in Mount Maunganui. Mohammed Siraj picked up the man of the match
award whereas Suryakumar Yadav picked up the man of the series award for his
series defining innings in game number two. The three match ODI series gets
underway in Auckland on Friday followed by games in Hamilton and Christchurch.