In a rain-curtailed match reduced to 8 overs each due to rain, India held their nerves to beat New Zealand by 6 runs in third and deciding match played at Thiruvananthapuram to win their maiden T20I series. New Zealand captain Kane Willamson won the toss and elected to bowl first, restricted the hosts to 67 runs. While chasing, the Indian bowlers showed great discipline and the match went right down to the wire.
New Zealand captain Kane Willamson won the toss and invited India to bat first. The power play overs were reduced to 2. At the end of powerplay overs, both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored 14 runs. In the 3rd over, Tim Southee dismissed both openers. The captain Virat Kohli scored 13 runs before being dismissed by Ish Sodhi. Manish Pandey and Hardik Pandya played cameo knocks which helped hosts to post 67 for 5 in 8 overs.
Chasing the target of 68, Bhuvneshwar Kumar castled Martin Guptill in the first over. In the next over, Jasprit Bumrah picked dangerous Collin Munro by a brilliant catch from Rohit Sharma. At the end of first 2 overs, New Zealand made 11 runs for 2 wickets. Kane Williamson and Glenn Philips added 20 runs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled his 2nd over by the 4th over. Captain Williamson and Glenn Philips went in quick succession to leave New Zealand at 28 for 4. Collin de Grandhomme remained not out on 17. Jasprit Bumrah proved his class with the ball again by giving away just 9 runs in the 19th over.
With 19 runs required in the final over, Collin de Grandhomme hit a six off the 3rd ball to keep the match alive. Hardik Pandya held his nerves to win a closely fought match by 6 runs to win series 2-1.
Captain Virat Kohli said: It was an exciting match. New Zealand gave us a tough fight in the whole T20I series. The total we put on the board was not enough and felt nervous. The boys showed a great fight and glad we won the match.
Man of the match and series Jasprit Bumrah: After the first innings, the slower balls were gripping. I and Bhuvneshwar Kumar thought about what will work on this pitch. He bowled at the rate of 6.90 runs per in the series and proved to best death bowler in the world.
India will face Sri Lanka in 3 match test series starting from 16th November.