A good performance at the crucial stages helped the Black Caps earned a 4-run victory over the Men in Blue in the third and final game of the T20 International series in Hamilton.
Choosing to bat first, the team led by Kane Williamson got a strong start to their innings as openers Colin Munro (72 off 40 balls) and Tim Seifert (43 off 25 balls) added 80 runs in the first seven overs of the match. After the fall of Seifert, Munro and skipper Williamson (27 off 21 balls) also stitched a crucial 55-run stand for the second wicket.
Some late heroics by Colin de Grandhomme (30 off 16 balls), Daryl Mitchell (19 off 11 balls), and Ross Taylor (14 off 7 balls) helped the Kiwis achieve a huge total of 212 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
The Men in Blue failed to chase down a 200 plus total for the second time in four days and lost the T20I series to New Zealand. Set 213 to win the decider, India managed 208 for 6 thanks to a spirited bowling effort from New Zealand.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, the 28-year-old cricketer shared that the final game was a perfect advertisement for T20 series and there was some good learning during the whole series.
Williamson said, “What a brilliant advertisement for T20 International cricket. It is great to get across the line tonight. It was a fairly short series. The first performance was our best, and there was some leaning the second one.”
“For it to go to the last couple of balls, I knew India would come back strong, and it was a great series to be a part of. The nature of international cricket is such that we have to play Bangladesh at home now, so looking forward to that as well.”
Meanwhile, opener and Man of the Match Colin Munro shared that it was anybody’s game with the Men in Blue needing just 16 runs off the final over.
Munro said, “It was touch and go there until the final minute. India – you get one good batsman, another one comes along. The boys did a really good job of finishing off the really good Indian batsmen.”
The Black Caps will now play Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series and three-match Test series starting from February 13th.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar