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IND v NZ, 3rd T20I, Review: India defend 67 in a 8-over thriller

Bumrah and Chahal conceded only 17 between them off four overs.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India kept their nerve in yet another thriller and clinched the rain-curtailed third and final T20 International against New Zealand by 6 runs. Credit has to go to the ground staff who worked hard throughout the day to make the game possible. The Kiwis once again put up a spirited show on the field which was applauded by the crowd time and again during the match. However, they just didn’t manage to win their third decider in three series but won the hearts of the cricket fans for sure.

Kane Williamson won the crucial toss on a damp wicket which was under covers for so long and asked the hosts to bat first. The match was reduced to 8-overs per side as it started two and a half hours late due to the persistent rain. The Indian openers came out with the hope of wicket being flat and tried to go bonkers. But lost their wicket to Tim Southee who changed his pace throughout his two-over spell. Then the spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner came on stifled the great Indian batting line-up.

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While the former managed to scalp the skipper Virat Kohli and young Shreyas Iyer, the latter was unlucky to miss out despite bowling some snorters. Though India somehow managed to crawl to 67 thanks to Manish Pandey who scored 17 off just 11 deliveries and was the highest scorer in the line-up. Hardik Pandya played his part as well and scored 14 off 10. Southee was the best bowler for the visitors who returned with the figures of 2/13 on a day when he was included only because Adam Milne was sick.

Bumrah and Chahal keep nerve in a thriller

New Zealand might have felt confident at the halfway stage but the pitch was never going to be easy for them. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as expected, bowled an excellent first over despite being hit for a six by Colin Munro. He castled Martin Guptill with a knuckle bowl and then his partner was dismissed with a beauty of a catch by Rohit Sharma. The visitors needed someone to guide the innings in such a small chase but the wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal came on sucked the momentum out of them.

Indian players were electric on the field which brought the downfall of the opponent skipper and the dangerous Tom Bruce, both courtesy Pandya. Though Colin de Grandhomme threatened by scoring 17 off just 10 but Bumrah was too good for him in the death overs. Eventually, the visitors fell short yet again by 6 runs in the decider much like they did in the ODI series in Kanpur and lost the series by 2-1.

The Men in Blue, with the bowl in hand, were absolutely fantastic and most importantly kept their nerve in the final stages. Few decisions from Virat Kohli as captain were also brave and he has to be credited for that. Bumrah, who deservedly received Man of the Match and Man of the Series, returned with immaculate figures of 2/9 off his two overs. He was ably and perfectly supported by Chahal who gave away only eight runs in his spell. India won yet another series at home and continued their winning run under the captaincy of Kohli but the Kiwis lost their numero uno status after the loss.

A word on Williamson and his troops

New Zealand stepped onto the Indian shores amidst the dream run of the home side in their own den. But they put them under the pump with a victory at Wankhede by tackling the spin threat gamely. They also came close to one of the highest chases in an ODI at Kanpur in a decider but agonisingly fell short by six runs. Similarly, in T20I series, they fought gamely and came back strongly after being thumped in Delhi. Though they lost both the series, New Zealand will leave the country with their heads held high and proud of their achievement on this tour.

Brief Scores

India 67/5 after 8 overs (M Pandey 17; T Southee 2/13)

New Zealand 61/6 after 8 overs (de Grandhomme 17*; J Bumrah 2/9)

Result: India won by 6 runs

Man of the Match: Jasprit Bumrah

Man of the Series: Jasprit Bumrah

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