Centuries from openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill followed by three-wicket hauls from Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav help India beat New Zealand by 90 runs in the third and final ODI of the series at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday (24 January) . With this win, Men in Blue beat New Zealand in the three-match ODI series 3-0 to become the number one team in the format. Shardul and Kuldeep both took three wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal claimed two conceded 43 runs. Devon Conway was the highest series scorer for New Zealand with a blistering 138 runs off 100 balls.
India defended 386 runs and dealt a big blow to New Zealand when Hardik Pandya bowled Finn Allen on the second ball from the first over. Despite losing to Allen in the very first over of the innings, Devon did not stop Conway from grounding Indian bowlers as the New Zealand opener continued to score boundaries at regular intervals. Henry Nicholls teamed up with Conway to keep the visitors chasing steady chases. The duo of Nicholls and Conway carried their team’s total over 100 runs in the 15th of the second innings.
The pair also tied for the 100-run partnership, but the tie was broken by Kuldeep Yadav who dismissed Nicholls after scoring 42 from 40 deliveries. Conway looked superior and raced to his 71-ball century to keep New Zealand alive in the chase in the 24th over. Captain Rohit Sharma then brought back Shardul Thakur in the attack and the pacemaker delivered two consecutive blows to New Zealand. Shardul sacked Daryl Mitchell for 24, then improved his throw and removed Tom Latham.
In the 28th over of the innings, Thakur gave India another wicket, as he dismissed new batsman Glenn Phillips after only scoring 5 runs. After losing five wickets, Conway continued to hit Indian bowlers all over the ground with batsman Michael Bracewell. A superb inning of 138 in just 100 balls with 12 fours and 8 sixes by Devon Conway came to an end when Umran Malik dismissed him in the 32nd over of the innings. New batter Mitchell Santner then came to bat. In the 37th over of the innings, Kuldeep dismissed a dangerous batter Michael Bracewell for 26 runs off 22 pitches, leaving the visitors reeling at 269/7.
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Lockie Ferguson fell prey to Kuldeep’s sharp throw in the game’s 39th over. In the next over Yuzvendra Chahal took his first wicket of the match and Jacob Duffy dismissed. Santner hammered Kuldeep for 15 runs but his hard strike was broken up by Chahal in the 42nd over of the innings to tie the match by 90 runs and ODI series 3–0 against Kiwis.
Previously, centuries from openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill and half a century from all-rounder Hardik Pandya led India to a huge total of 385/9 in 50 overs. India was batted first by New Zealand and got off to a great start.
Openers Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma showed no mercy for Kiwi bowlers and scored offensively from the start. Gill crushed pacer Lockie Ferguson with 22 runs in the eighth, including four boundaries and a six. India passed the 50-run mark in 7.4 overs.
At the end of the first 10 overs and the mandatory power play, India was 82/0, with Rohit (39*) and Gill (41*). Gill netted his sixth ODI fifty in just 33 balls with a wrist whip to Mitchell Santner in the 12th over. Rohit also brought up his 49th ODI fifty with a massive six on Santner’s delivery in the 14th over in 41 balls. The batters continued to feast on Kiwi bowlers.
India crossed the mark of 100 runs in 12.4 overs, without losing a wicket, passed the mark of 150 runs in 17.5 overs and reached the mark of 200 runs in 24.1 overs. Rohit looked superior and brought up his 30th ODI ton, his first since January 2020 in the 50-over format in just 83 balls. Gill also reached his fourth ODI ton in just 72 balls, hitting Blair Tickner for a four.
Virat Kohli congratulated Rohit Sharma as he entered the ground.
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All-rounder Michael Bracewell made the breakthrough for Kiwis, ending the 222-run lead between openers. Rohit was dismissed for 101 off 85 balls, with nine fours and six sixes. In the next over, Tickner dismissed Gill for a well-made 112 off 78 balls, with 13 fours and five sixes. India was 230/2 at this point.
Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan were the new couple on the crease. Both continued the attacking gameplay of the openers. India reached the mark of 250 runs in 32 overs. The 38-run tie between the duo ended after Kishan was out after a terrible mix-up. He had made 17 of 24 balls. Virat Kohli was joined by Suryakumar Yadav.
Kiwis continued to stage a comeback in the match as Virat was dismissed for 36 off 27 balls after Finn Allen caught him halfway. India was 284/4. Duffy got his second wicket of the match after Suryakumar holed the ball to long-on caught by Devon Conway. Suryakumar was dismissed for 14 off nine balls, two of which were sixes. Half of the Indian side were back in the hut for 293 runs.
India reached the mark of 300 runs in 40.3 overs. Tickner got his second wicket of the match, dismissing Washington Sundar for just nine runs and leaving India six behind for 313 runs. A collaboration between Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur led to an increase in scoring percentage. They formed a fast fifty-run stand. The 54-run tie between them was over after Thakur was caught by wicket-keeper Tom Latham while attempting a first.
India were 367/7. Pandya continued his exploits, unfazed by Thakur’s dismissal. He brought up his ninth ODI half century in 36 balls, with two fours and three sixes. He got out for 54 of 37 balls after being caught by Conway. India were 379/8 and finished the innings at 385/9 in their 50 overs. Tickner (3/76) was the bowlers’ choice for the Kiwis. Jacob Duffy also took 3 wickets but went for 100 runs in his 10 overs. Bracewell also took a wicket.
Short Scores: India: 385/9 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 112, Rohit Sharma 101, Blair Tickner 3/76) v New Zealand 295 (Devon Conway 138, Henry Nicholls 42; Shardul Thakur 3-45). (with ANI inputs)