India clinch series vs New Zealand after rain washes out 3rd T20I

The winning Indian side poses with the series trophy on Tuesday

India clinched the three-match T20I series against New Zealand 1-0 on Tuesday after intermittent but heavy rains  once again interrupted proceedings in the third and final match at Napier, which was declared a tied game at the end but with the visiting side taking the series. 

In reply to New Zealand’s total of 160, India were placed at 75/4 after nine overs when rain interrupted once again as it had already delayed the start of the game. 

Following another long period of heavy rain, the umpies called upon the intervention of the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) method to declare the game was tied. India, who had won the second match of the series by a huge margin of 65 runs were thus able to take the series win, which also happens to be their second consecutive series victory in New Zealand bilateral. 

Earlier in the contest, Devon Conway top scored for New Zealand with 59 while Glenn Phillips contributed with 54 as the home team finished at 160 from 19.4 overs, playing the game without the regular captain Kane Williamson, who were missing again due to a medical appointment. 

Devon Conway faced 49 balls to score 59 with 5 boundaries and 2 sixes but Genn Phillips was more aggressive among the two, cracking 5 boundaries and 3 sixes to get his 54 runs from just 33 balls. The two New Zealand batsmen were also involved in a vital 86-run partnership for the third wicket, which helped them reach a competitive total at the end.

The New Zealand side did not have an ideal day out with the bat since most of their batsmen could not make a mark against a strong Indian bowling performance, which was highlighted by 4 wickets each for fast bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh.

The right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Siraj returned with impressive numbers of 4-0-17-4, accounting for the likes of Mark Chapman (12), Glenn Phillips (54), James Neesham (0) and Mitchell Santner (1). On the other hand, the left-arm seam bowler Arshdeep Singh was instrumental in getting out both New Zealand openers Finn Allen (3) and Devon Conway, 59, while he also chipped in with crucial wickets of Daryl Mitchell (10) and Ish Sodhi (0) towards the end.

In their reply, India did not have an ideal start as both their openers Ishan Kishan (10) and Rishabh Pant (11) fell after getting starts. Adam Milne had Ishan Kishan caught by Mark Chapman while Ish Sodhi took the catch to dismiss Rishabh Pant off Tim Southee.

India’s hero from the second match, Suryakumar Yadav, the world’s top ranked batsman in the format, did have a sparkling start when he hit a six and a four to announce his arrival but New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi had the better of him early on in the case. 

Suryakumar Yadav was caught by Glenn Phillips for 13, which left India struggling at 60/4 after 6.3 overs with Shreyas Iyer once again having a disappointing mode of dismissal. 

The Indian middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has been time and again troubled by short pitch bowling and this time around, it was Tim Southee who bounced out the right-handed batsman for a first-ball duck, piling up further pressure on him. 

Indian captain Hardik Pandya decided to turn the tables on New Zealand with a counter-attacking innings, 30 not out from 18 balls with 3 boundaries and a six in the company of Deepak Hooda, who was batting on 9 when rains arrived once again for the final time in the match. 

India New Zealand in a three match ODI series starting on 25, Friday, at Auckland. The second and third ODI will be played on November 27 and 30 at Hamilton and Christchurch respectively.