Twitter Reactions: Kane Williamson-less New Zealand choke yet again as India make it 4-0 in the series

If Shami was the hero in Hamilton, Shardul Thakur did it for India in the final over in the fourth T20I.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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New Zealand have literally mastered the art of taking the game into the super over and then losing it. They needed just 7 runs in the final over with seven wickets in hand and still, they didn’t get over the line. While Shardul Thakur bowled really well, the Kiwi batsmen committed harakiri, to say the least, under pressure. And it once again went down to super over and once again, the hosts lost it with India trumping them.

It was all the repeat of Hamilton in Wellington with Jasprit Bumrah taking the ball in the one-over shootout. Though he was better on the day, the pacer conceded 13 runs which gave the Kiwis some hope. Tim Southee once again took it upon him to defend the total. But the pacer dished out a length ball to KL Rahul first up and the batsman smacked it for a huge six. Another four followed before Rahul lost his wicket with the equation coming down to four runs from three balls.

However, Virat Kohli came on strike and played it smartly to take his team over the line. It was Rohit Sharma in the previous game and this time, the skipper won it for India in the super over to take a 4-0 lead in the series. For New Zealand, the match shouldn’t have tied in the first place and they were left themselves to blame for second time in as many games.

Chasing 167 runs to win, the hosts got off to a very slow start. India bowled really well upfront with the new ball and also got the dangerous Martin Guptill’s wicket. Munro was struggling too and he also survived a close run-out chance. However, once he started middling the ball there was no stopping the southpaw. He also went past the half-century and got an able ally in Tim Seifert who finally got a chance to bat in top three.

The duo added 74 runs for the second wicket partnership before Virat Kohli’s brilliance helped India get a breakthrough. Munro, after hitting the ball in the gap, was jogging for his second run. Shardul Thakur collected the ball and threw it to Virat Kohli who cleverly stormed a throw at the striker’s end to leave Munro stunned. And, much to the visitors’ delight, it was a direct hit and the batsman was short of his crease.

Soon Yuzvendra Chahal castled Tom Bruce to make the contest interesting. At 97/3 in the 13th over, the game could’ve gone either way. But Seifert was determined to take his team home and Ross Taylor also supported him well. The duo stitched 62 runs for the third wicket but the latter got out off the first ball of the final over with seven still required to win.

And once again it was a repeat of Hamilton T20I. Daryl Mitchell hit a four to bring the equation down to three runs off four balls and they somehow managed to lose Seifert with three required off as many deliveries. The batsmen’s attempt to sneak in a bye failed and Thakur got the better of Mitchell as well with the Kiwis needing 2 off the last ball.

Mitchell Santner only managed to pick a single and the game yet again went into the super over with New Zealand finishing on 165/7 after 20 overs.

Manish Pandey’s half-century helps India post 165

Earlier, India rested Rohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja in a bid to test their bench. But Sanju Samson squandered another opportunity scoring only 8 runs with the bat. Virat Kohli also couldn’t get going on the day even as Shreyas Iyer followed the skipper to leave the team reeling. KL Rahul was playing well until then for his 39 but his wicket in the ninth over put India in trouble at 75/4.

Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar also got out soon and at 88/6, it looked all gone for the visitors. However, there was a certain Manish Pandey in the middle who had finally got a chance to spend some time and he didn’t disappoint. Shardul Thakur assisted him well as they added 43 runs in five overs. Pandey took control of the proceedings in the death overs then to propel the team to a competitive score of 165 runs in 20 overs.

He remained unbeaten on 50 off 36 deliveries with three fours even as Thakur contributed 20 crucial runs. For New Zealand, Ish Sodhi was the best player as he returned with the figures of 3/26 and other bowlers also supported him well to keep India in the check.

But the Black Caps choked once again after having the game in the grasp for most parts of the chase. India stayed in the hunt till the very end and nailed the blow in the super over as their opponents choked.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: