India hold their nerve to win series

Team India were riding high on confidence and looked favorites against the Kiwis. However, a resurgent New Zealand battled against the odds and gave a tough outing for the hosts. They held their nerve and almost chased down the total but a sensational bowling display by Jasprit Bumrah toward the end did the trick for the hosts to clinch the series.

Kane Williamson won the toss yet again and opted to field first on this occasion. Virat Kohli said he would have bowled first too as the side batting second has the advantage in Kanpur. Both the teams remained unchanged.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave Team India a promising start but Tim Southee got the breakthrough for the Kiwis. Shikhar Dhawan tried to hit one over the mid off fielder but failed to get the distance as the ball went towards Kane Williamson there who took a safe catch. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma added a solid partnership between them. The duo kept scoring the odd boundary to keep the run rate up.

Rohit Sharma was back amongst the runs and brought up a terrific fifty. He played some wristy and audacious shots to bring up his 35th ODI half century. Virat Kohli supported him well from the other end and Team India were heading for a solid total. The duo looked fluent and put together a big partnership. Rohit completed 1000 ODI runs in a calendar year and subsequently Virat Kohli completed 9000 ODI runs, becoming the quickest batsman to reach this landmark.

Hitman was dealing in boundaries and soon brought up his 15th ODI ton. It was also his first against the Kiwis and he soon put his foot on the gas. Boundaries were flowing consistently as he shared a 200-run stand with Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper went on to bring up his 32nd century and India were cruising to a big total. Rohit however, soon perished when he attempted a big shot, falling just three runs short of his 150. Mitchell Santner got his wicket and Hardik Pandya was sent in at number 4. In a bid to score quick runs, Hardik Pandya got out to Santner as well as he holed out at long off.

Virat Kohli’s sublime knock came to an end as India crossed the 300-run mark when he smashed one towards long off. With some big shots towards the end, India posted 337 runs on the board. It was huge total, considering the average first innings total.

New Zealand knew they needed a positive start with the bat and Colin Munro deposited the very first ball he faced over the fence for a biggie. The over yielded 19 runs and New Zealand were off to a flying start. However, Jasprit Bumrah got the wicket of Martin Guptill who got out for another low score. It was Jasprit Bumrah’s 50th ODI wicket as well and he became the second fastest Indian to reach this milestone.

Kane Williamson and Colin Munro stitched a fighting stand together and kept the visitors in the hunt. Munro brought up his aggressive fifty and the skipper Williamson reached that milestone later as well. The duo batted fluently and added a 100-run stand. India needed a desperate breakthrough and Chahal provided one when Colin Munro was bowled off a beauty of a delivery. Kane Williamson got out after him and suddenly it was game on. Tom Latham and Ross Taylor had a tough task on their hands. They got going and stitched a 79-run partnership.

Jasprit Bumrah’s slower one did the trick as he got the wicket of Ross Taylor. It was a smart delivery and Taylor wasn’t happy with his dismissal. New Zealand were on the back foot as they needed over 90 runs in less than 10 overs. Tom Latham was not giving up though. He kept on fighting with his sweep shots and registered another fifty. He kept the required run rate in check and battled against the odds. Runs kept flowing at a steady rate for the visitors and India were finding it tough to keep him silent. Soon though, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s yorker sent Henry Nicholls back to the dressing room and the crowd started getting behind Team India. The Kiwis needed 30 runs from the last 3 overs and an exciting finish was on the cards.

Jasprit Bumrah’s smart throw, resulted in a direct hit at the non-striker’s and Tom Latham was run out. It was a huge wicket for India as Latham was looking ominous. The yorker specialist bowled a superb over and the Kiwis were put under immense pressure. He was calm and composed towards the end and bowled a magnificent last over and defended the required runs to help Team India win yet another ODI series. Rohit Sharma was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his superb 147 runs with the bat in the first innings. So, an exciting ODI series comes to an end. We now head to the shortest format, the T20Is. The first game is on 1st November.

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