Thanks to brilliance by Mohammed Shami and Rohit Sharma sixes in the Super over , The Indian Cricket Team won their maiden T20I series on New Zealand shores in the 3rd T20I match played at Seddon Park, Hamilton on Wednesday.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to field first. The Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul had a steady start against Kiwis. Mitchell Santer was bought into the attack by Williamson in the 5th over. Sharma was simply sensational with his stroke play hitting 27 runs off Hamish Bennett over and reached his fifty off just 23 balls. At the end of six overs, India raced to 69 for 0.
After the power play overs, the Indian openers continued their attacking approach taking on New Zealand bowlers. As things looked dangerous for the Kiwis, Colin de Grandhomme provided the breakthrough getting the wicket of KL Rahul in the 9th over. The Indian openers added 89 runs for the opening wicket. Shivam Dube who was promoted to number 3 ahead of Virat Kohli struggled to time the ball.
Hamish Bennett got 2 big wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shivam Dube to restrict the run flow. Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santer bowled beautifully on a pitch which helped the spinners. The Indian captain Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer steadied the innings for the visitors adding 46 runs for the 4th wicket. Iyer scored 17 off 16 balls with 1 four and 1 six before getting dismissed by Mitchell Santer. Kohli was dismissed for 38 off 27 balls off Bennett bowling. Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja added 19 off 7 balls and helped India post 179 for 5 in 20 overs.
In reply to 180 runs to win, the New Zealand openers Martin Guptill looked in great touch putting pressure on the Indian bowlers especially Bumrah. Shardul Thakur produced the breakthrough for India getting the wicket of Guptill for 31 off 21 balls. Yuzvendra Chahal was bought into the attack by Kohli in the 5th over and got turn. At the end of six overs, New Zealand were 51 for 1.
Soon after the power play overs, Ravindra Jadeja was bought into the attack and got the wicket of Colin Munro to stem the run flow. Kane Williamson looked in great touch with aggressive stroke play and put the pressure on Indian bowlers. Mitchell Santer who was promoted at number 4, struggled to time the ball. Chahal dismissed Santer which put the Kiwis batsmen under pressure. Williamson played with lot of positive intent and reached his fifty off just 28 balls.
Colin de Grandhomme never looked comfortable with his stroke play. Williamson timed the ball extremely well and put the Indian bowlers under pressure. Shardul Thakur dismissed de Grandhomme for 5 to end 49 runs stand for the 4th wicket. Ross Taylor joined in the party with lovely strokes against Bumrah.
With 9 runs required off the final over, Ross Taylor hit a six off Shami bowling which made the equation to 3 off 5 balls. Shami got the big wicket of Kane Williamson off the 3rd ball. He conceded 1 run off the next two balls. With 1 run required off 1 ball, Shami produced a yorker to dismiss Taylor to force the match into a Super Over.
Batting first in the Super Over, Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill smacked 17 runs off Jasprit Bumrah bowling. Kiwi captain Williamson hit one boundary and one six. Guptill hit a boundary which gave created pressure on Indian batting.
With 18 runs required off 6 balls, Rohit survived run out chance and took 2 runs. Rahul hit a boundary off the 3rd ball which made the equation 11 off 3 balls. With 10 runs required off 2 balls, Rohit smacked 2 successive sixes to help Team India register a thrilling win.
India 179 for 5 in 20 overs ( Rohit Sharma 65, Virat Kohli 38, Hamish Bennett 3/54) and 20 for 0 in 1 over ( Rohit Sharma 15*) beat New Zealand 179 for 6 in 20 overs ( Kane Williamson 95, Guptill 31, Mohammed Shami 2/32, Ravindra Jadeja 1/23) and 17 for 0 in 1 over ( Williamson 11*) via Super Over.
India takes a 3-0 unassailable lead in the 5-match series. The fourth match will be played on 31st January at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.