New Zealand choke, India clinch Green Park thriller in style
Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma struck sparkling centuries as India notched up a thrilling six-run win against New Zealand to capture the three-match ODI series 2-1, at the Green Park on Sunday. (India vs New Zealand Highlights | Scorecard)
After posting a challenging 337/6, India restricted the Black Caps to 331/7 in 50 overs, thus ensuring back-to-back series wins against the rivals on home soil and their seventh successive bilateral series victory.
With New Zealand needing 15 runs off the last six deliveries, Jasprit Bumrah conceded eight and dismissed Mitchell Santner off the fourth delivery. Bumrah was also the brain behind Tom Latham’s crucial run out in the 48th over.
Centurion in the first match of the series, Latham had almost snatched a win from India’s jaws, playing some fabulous shots during two crucial partnerships. He added 79 runs for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor before stitching 59 runs with Henry Nicholls for the fifth wicket.
A 109-run stand for the second wicket between opener Colin Munro and skipper Kane Williamson was threatening India before Yuzvendra Chahal brought curtains on Munro’s fascinating knock with a wrong one.
KOHLI IN FORM
Earlier, an in-form Kohli not only scored his 32nd ODI century but also completed 9,000 ODI runs in the process, thus becoming the fastest ever to reach the milestone.
Kohli’s 230-run stand for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma helped India dictate terms even though they lost opener Shikhar Dhawan early after New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson put India to bat on a placid turf.
Having scored a century in the series opener in Mumbai, Kohli looked firm, striking his first boundary off Tim Southee in the eighth over. Kohli punched the ball hard on the front and back-foot and kept rotating the strike with Rohit. Before offering a straight catch to Southee, Kohli made 113 off 106 balls.
ROHIT GOES BIG
It was a well-timed century from Rohit too, who had scores of 20 and seven in the previous two matches. Rohit’s 138-ball 147 was his second century this month after he had scored 125 against Australia in the fifth ODI on October 1.
After reaching his century with a gentle push for a single off Santner, Rohit started punishing the Kiwi bowlers, starting with seamer Adam Milne. Hardik Pandya couldn’t make the most of his promotion to No 4 but Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav provided the final flourish.