In the last ODI of the 3-match series, India had everything to play for as they were searching for a solitary win after conceding the series in the second ODI.
On the other hand, Kiwis were targeting a rare clean sweep opportunity against the mighty Indians. In the end, it was the home team that emerged triumphant as they comfortably beat India to claim the series 3-0 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first as skipper Kane Williamson was back in the team for the final ODI in the series. India opted to leave out Kedar Jadhav and brought in Manish Pandey for the number six spot in the line-up.
Batting first, India didn’t have the greatest of starts as opener Mayank Agarwal fell cheaply again. The case even worsened when Virat Kohli and Prithvi Shaw were dismissed in quick succession. The team was reeling at 62 for 3 with the duo of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul in the middle.
Both the players shepherd the innings and stitched together a 100-run partnership for the fourth wicket. However, Iyer was caught after scoring a well-made 62.
But KL Rahul didn’t seem to stop as he was joined by Manish Pandey at the crease. Pandey made a healthy contribution with the bat while Rahul reached his fourth ODI century.
The Kiwi bowlers yet again bowled well in the slog overs to restrict India to a respectable total of 296 runs in their 50 overs. Hamish Bennett was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4 for 64 in his 10 overs.
Chasing a sub-par total New Zealand were off to a good start. Their openers, Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls laid a strong 100-run opening stand to help Kiwis’ cause at the onset of their chase.
Indian bowlers, on the back of a superb bowling spell from Yuzvendra Chahal, came back in the game with a few quick wickets in the middle-overs. The hosts lost Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Nicholls in a short period of time to dent their chances of winning the match.
However, with Tom Latham at the crease, Colin de Grandhomme smacked a 28-ball 58 to take his team home. It was another clinical performance from the Kiwis as the tourists were rendered helpless in the entire series.
After being drubbed 5-0 in the T20I series, it was perfect from New Zealand to come up with such a strong performance.
Nicholls, for his innings of 80 at the top of the order was awarded the Man of the Match, while Ross Taylor, for his contribution in the first two matches, was awarded the Player of the series.
Cover image credits: Dawn.com