With all-round performance, India today defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the third OD1 and sealed the five-match series 3-0, with two more matches to be played. Virat Kohli’s Team India has become just the second Indian side to have won a bilateral ODI series in New Zealand after MS Dhoni-led India won in 2009.
Chasing New Zealand’s target of 244, India lost three wickets – Shikhar Dhawan (28), Rohit Sharma (62) and Virat Kohli (60 – as Ambati Rayudu (40 off 42) and Dinesh Karthik (38 off 38) remained unbeaten and saw India home successfully with 42 balls to spare.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma put up a 113-run partnership to put the visitors on course for a series victory. However, Rohit was stumped by Tom Latham as Mitchell Santner celebrated his wicket, whereas Trent Boult dismissed Kohli in just less than three overs since Rohit’s dismissal.
Despite this double blow, Ambati Rayudu (40) and Dinesh Karthik (38) ensured that ythe visitors would cross the finish line with exactly seven overs to spare.
Earlier, Hardik Pandya made a significant contribution on his comeback with two wickets and a stunning catch as India bowled out the hosts for 242 runs in 49 overs. Coming back into the side after the suspension on him for sexist remarks on a TV show was lifted, Pandya delivered figures of two for 45 in 10 overs and choked the run flow during the middle overs.
Skipper Virat Kohli’s stand on the kind of balance that the Baroda all-rounder brings to the side stood vindicated during another controlled bowling effort by the visitors.