NAPIER (New Zealand): Heavy rain interrupted play with Team India scoring just enough for a tie in the final T20 against New Zealand here and walking away with a series win in the three-match series.
The Duckworth-Lewis method was employed as rain did not allow play after India had scored 75/4 in 9 overs, chasing a target of 161 runs.
With the first match having been washed out due to rain and India having won the second match, the Hardik Pandya led-team clinched the series 1-0. This is the second time India has won a T20 series under the leadership of Pandya. India had earlier won a series against West Indies under his leadership earlier this year.
Chasing 161, the visitors did not get the best of starts, losing opener Ishan Kishan to Adam Milne for 10 in the second over with only 13 runs on the board. Rishabh Pant looked dangerous in his short stay, but was dismissed in the very next over by Tim Southee for 11 off five balls. In the very next ball, Shreyas Iyer was sent packing to leave India tottering at 21/3.
India desperately needed a partnership and skipper Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav did just that by taking India’s total beyond 50-run mark in 4.4 overs. India went on to score 58 runs with the loss of three wickets in six overs of powerplay. Ish Sodhi was introduced into the attack and he broke the 39-run partnership. Deepak Hooda walked out to join his skipper Hardik Pandya and the duo took India’s total to 75/4 in 9 overs.
Rain then interrupted the play and it started pouring heavily forcing the umpires to call off the match. India’s score of 75/4 in 9 overs was on par with the Kiwis as per Duckworth-Lewis method. Mohammed Siraj was declared as ‘Player of the Match’ while Suryakumar Yadav was named ‘Player of the Series’.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first. New Zealand faced a jolt in the second over as pacer Arshdeep Singh trapped Finn Allen leg-before-wicket for just three runs off four balls. New Zealand were 9/1 in 1.3 overs.
Mark Chapman joined Devon Conway, the other opener. Both started to hit Indian bowlers with some clean strikes. Conway in general looked aggressive, smashing Arshdeep for two fours and a six in the fourth over.
The duo were slowly building a good partnership, but Chapman found Arshdeep at mid-on on Mohammed Siraj’s second delivery of the spell. Chapman was back for 12 off 12 balls. Kiwis were reduced to 44/2 in 5.2 overs. Glenn Phillips joined Conway. At the end of six overs, New Zealand were at 46/2, with Phillips (1*) and Conway (23*) unbeaten.
Phillips and Conway brought up their 50-run stand in 43 balls. In the second half of the innings, Phillips upped his run rate, smashing Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal Patel for fours and sixes. Conway brought up his half-century in 39 balls, while Phillips brought up his eighth T20I fifty in just 31 balls.
At the end of 15 overs, the Kiwis scorecard was much healthier at 129/2, with Phillips (53*) and Conway (54*) still on the crease. The 86-run partnership between the duo came to an end as Siraj dismissed Phillips for 54 off 33 balls. New Zealand was at 130/3 in 15.5 overs. Arshdeep also took another wicket quickly, sending back Conway for 59 off 49 balls. Kiwis was at 146/4 in 16.4 overs.
India continued to make a comeback in the match. As the pair of Siraj and Pant dismissed a dangerous James Neesham for a duck. In 17.1 overs, New Zealand had lost five wickets for 147 runs. Mitchell Santner was Siraj’s fourth wicket and was back in the pavilion for just one.
The Kiwis’ collapse continued as all-rounder Daryl Mitchell was dismissed for 10 off five balls and Ish Sodhi was also dismissed. Arshdeep got both wickets, taking his wicket tally to four. NZ was at 149/8. Adam Milne was run out by Siraj for zero. Kiwis finished their innings 160 all out, with Harshal Patel taking the last wicket, dismissing Tim Southee for six.
Mohammad Siraj was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 17 runs in four overs. Arshdeep also took 4/37. Harshal took a wicket.
Brief scores: New Zealand: 160 in 19.4 overs (Devon Conway 59, Glenn Phillips 54, Mohammad Siraj 4/17, Arshdeep Singh 4/37) vs India 75/4 in 9 overs (Hardik Pandya 30*, Suryakumar Yadav 13; Tim Southee 2/27). (ANI)