The Indian Cricket Team showed resolve again to beat New Zealand by 7 runs in the fifth and final T20I match played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday. By the virtue of this win, India became the first team to whitewash any team in 5 match bilateral series.
Indian stand in captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. Sanju Samson who opened the innings again failed to contribute as he was dismissed for just 2 runs. KL Rahul looked in sensational form with aggressive stroke play and put the pressure on New Zealand bowlers. Rohit who came at number 3 also timed the ball. At the end of six overs, India were 53 for 1.
After the power play overs, Rahul and Rohit continued to play the Kiwis bowlers with ease. With things looking dangerous for Kiwis, Hamish Bennett struck to dismiss the dangerous KL Rahul for 45. Rahul and Rohit added 88 runs for the 2nd wicket. Shreyas Iyer came to the crease and struggled with his timing. The experienced Rohit showed his class and reached his fifty off 35 balls. In attempt to take a run, Rohit suffered calf problem. After hitting a six, Rohit could not continue and retired hurt. Shivam Dube came to the crease and was dismissed for just 5.
Iyer struggled with his timing in the death overs. Manish Pandey came to the crease and scored unbeaten 11 off 4 balls to help India post a below par total of 163 for 3 in 20 overs.
KL Rahul was doing the captaincy job replacing Rohit Sharma. It was an ideal start for the Indian team as Jasprit Bumrah got an early wicket of Martin Guptill for 2. Washington Sundar was smashed for a boundary and six before dismissing Munro for 15 off 6 balls. Tom Bruce was run out in a mix up as Sanju Samson produced a run out to leave Kiwis in big trouble at 17 for 3. Ross Taylor and Tim Seifert steadied the Kiwis innings with attacking stroke play. At the end of six overs, New Zealand were 41 for 3.
After the power play overs, Sanju Samson produced a brilliant fielding effort to save a six at the boundary. Tim Seifert survived a close run out shout. Taylor and Seifert put pressure on the Indian bowlers with aggressive stroke play. Both batsmen took advantage of the situation scoring 34 off Shivam Dube in the 10th over. Seifert looked in great touch reaching his fifty off 29 balls. With things looking out of control, Navdeep Saini got the breakthrough dismissing Seifert. Seifert and Taylor added 99 runs for the 4th wicket. Jasprit Bumrah bowled a beauty of a yorker to dismiss Daryl Mitchell to bring India back into the game.
Shardul Thakur dismissed Mitchell Santer and Scott Kuggelejin in the same over to put pressure on the Kiwis line up. The experienced Ross Taylor reached his fifty off 42 balls. Navdeep Saini dismissed the dangerous Ross Taylor for 53 to end the hopes of New Zealand. With 21 runs required off 6 balls, Ish Sodhi hit 2 sixes off Shardul Thakur bowling but it was not enough for the hosts to win the match.
India 163 for 3 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 60* retired hurt, KL Rahul 45, Scott Kuggelejin 2/25, Hamish Bennett 1/21) beat New Zealand 156 for 9 in 20 overs ( Ross Taylor 53, Tim Seifert 50, Jasprit Bumrah 3/12, Navdeep Saini 2/23) by 7 runs.
For his 3 for 12 in 4 overs, Jasprit Bumrah was awarded the man of the match. KL Rahul for his 224 runs in 5 matches was awarded the player of the series.