(Reuters) – India pipped New Zealand by six runs in a rain-truncated Twenty20 thriller to win the three-match series 2-1 in Thiruvananthapuram yesterday.
Put into bat after steady rain had reduced the third and final match to an eight-over shootout, hosts India posted 67-5 at the Greenfield International Stadium.
New Zealand wobbled early in their chase of a modest target and eventually managed 61-6 in a contest which stood out for disciplined bowling and some exemplary catching from both sides.
Earlier, India managed only seven runs in the first two overs as Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner bowled with tremendous discipline.
Tim Southee wrecked the Indian top order in his first over, dismissing openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma off successive deliveries with Santner taking both the catches.
Virat Kohli made 13 off six balls before Boult took a catch in the deep off Ish Sodhi (2-23) to send back the India captain.
Manish Pandey topscored for India with 17 before falling to a spectacular piece of fielding by Santner.
Pandey had hit Boult towards long-on where a sprinting Santner dived to take the catch but realising momentum was taking him across the rope, the fielder threw the ball to Colin de Grandhomme who was nearby to complete the dismissal.
Like their opponents, New Zealand too lost openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro cheaply and never really got going.
Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals, leaving New Zealand needing 19 runs off the last over from Hardik Pandya but managing only 12.
Jasprit Bumrah (2-9) was the pick of the Indian bowlers while de Grandhomme topscored for New Zealand with 17 not out.