A last-ball six in the Super Over from Rohit Sharma helped India register their first-ever T20I series win in New Zealand. The third T20I ended in a tense tie after Mohammed Shami’s double strike reduced the Kiwis to 179/6 in 20 overs. Captain Kane Williamson struck a blistering 95 but fell just five runs short of his maiden T20I century.
The visitors have now taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5-match series, rendering the last two games rather meaningless.
Hitman goes berserk
Rohit was particularly impressive against pacer Hamish Bennett in the Powerplay, smashing the bowler for 26 runs in the sixth over of the innings. It was in the same over that he brought up his quickfire fifty, in just 23 balls! A fifth T20I hundred was there for the taking but Rohit fell on 65 in the 11th over, just as his innings was gathering steam. The batsman has now crossed the 10,000 run-mark as an opener across all three formats.
So close, yet so far: Unlucky Williamson
Continuing his brilliant run in the series, Williamson struck eight fours and six sixes en route his 95. The New Zealand openers once again gave their team a good start but chasing 180 on a tricky wicket was always going to be challenging. And this is where India’s bowlers did a commendable job. After taking out the openers early on, they stifled the Kiwi middle order despite Williamson’s fluent knock. New Zealand’s experiment to promote Mitchell Santner up the order didn’t fetch any good returns, and neither did the persistence to play Colin de Grandhomme.
Another day, another Super Over
And yet again, New Zealand ended up at the receiving end of another heartbreaking loss. Having upped the ante in a tense chase at regular intervals, they succumbed to Shami’s sensational death bowling. The result was another tense Super Over, where the hosts posted 17 runs facing Jasprit Bumrah. Needing 10 runs off the final two deliveries, Rohit smashed consecutive sixes to seal the contest for Team India.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli broke another record in T20I cricket for India. Kohli became India’s leading run-scorer in the shortest format as captain, going past former skipper and teammate MS Dhoni.