New Zealand had a torrid time in the Auckland T20Is, conceding India a 2-0 lead. In a must-win scenario, the Black Caps came out firing on all cylinders in Hamilton. After a number of twists and turns, the game went into the Super Over. In fact, it was the Kiwis’ third Super Over in the last seven months. After losing two times, they lost yet again. More importantly, they lost the series 3-0.
Rohit gets his form back
The Kiwis got themselves a chance to bat second unlike the first couple of times. However, the Indian openers, KL Rahul (27) and Rohit Sharma (65) notched 69 runs in the powerplay. Rohit was severe on pacer Hamish Bennett and took him for 27 runs in his second over. The duo eventually put on 89 for the opening wicket in nine overs. To India’s dismay, both perished in quick succession.
Rohit made amends after poor outings in Auckland, but got out to Bennett. Prior to that, Colin de Grandhomme accounted for Rahul’s wicket. The move to promote Shivam Dube didn’t work as he became Bennett’s second victim. Mitchell Santner pinned Shreyas Iyer to exert more pressure on the Indian batting. Bennett dismissed Kohli, who got 38 off 27, and India finished with 179 in 20 overs.
Colin Munro (14) and Martin Guptill (31) started the Black Caps’ run-chased rather steadily. The duo got 47 for the opening wicket. But both batters perished in quick succession. Even as Shardul Thakur got rid of Guptill, Ravindra Jadeja got Munro stumped. Mitchell Santner was promoted up the order and he became Yuzvendra Chahal’s victim. At the other end, pressure built on Kane Williamson.
Kane got to his fifty off 28 balls. In the last five overs, the Black Caps needed 32 for victory. In the 17th over, Williamson hit Jasprit Bumrah for three fours in a row to bring the game in the hosts favour. He eventually got 95 off 48. In the last over, Ross Taylor hit Mohammed Shami for a six to take his team within touching distance. But Shami castled Taylor to take the game into a Super Over.
Rohit rescues India
In the one-over eliminator, Williamson and Guptill had the onus with Bumrah with the leather in hand. The speedster with a couple of single, but Williamson churned out a four and six to get things going for the Kiwis. Guptill followed it up with a boundary and helped the Kiwis score 17 runs.
With a target of 18, Rohit and Rahul, two of India’s most in-form batters, came out. Following a couple of singles, Rahul got a four in the third ball and the target came down to 11 off three balls. But then, Rohit deposited Southee for a six and then pulled off another six to end the encounter.
Rohit Sharma, the Player of the Match, said
Never batted in a Super Over before. Didn’t know what to expect, whether to go from the first ball or take a single and see what I can do. It was a good performance, although I’m a little disappointed with the way I got out, I wanted to carry on for a while longer. We knew that if we won this game, we would win this series. It was important for the important members of the side to step up today.”
Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, said
I thought we were gone at one stage. I told our coach that they deserved to win. On the last ball, we had a discussion and we came to a conclusion that we had to hit the stumps. Rohit was superb for us. When Shami bowled those two dot balls, I thought we can go to super over.
In the super over, Kane came out and smashed Bumrah who is one of best death over bowler in World Cricket. There are a couple of guys who are sitting out like Sundar and Saini, they deserve to get a game.
Kane Williamson, the New Zealand, said
Super overs haven’t been too successful for us. India showed their experience in the crunch situation. We bowled well after they got off to a superb start. Very disappointing. It was nice to spend some time in the middle. It was disappointing not to cross the finishing lines. It is a game of small margins. It was a much better performance from us.
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