India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI: Bumrah builds on Rohit-Kohli stand as India seal series 2-1

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October 29, 2017

Brief Scorecard: India 337 for 6 (Rohit 147, Kohli 113, Santner 2-58) beat New Zealand 331 for 7 (Munro 75, Latham 65, Williamson 64, Bumrah 3-47, Chahal 2-47) by six runs

Bumrah seals nervy 2-1 series win for India

October 29, 2017

Brief Scorecard: India 337 for 6 (Rohit 147, Kohli 113, Santner 2-58) beat New Zealand 331 for 7 (Munro 75, Latham 65, Williamson 64, Bumrah 3-47, Chahal 2-47) by six runs

Bumrah seals nervy 2-1 series win for India

KANPUR – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s quickfire tons followed by a Jasprit Bumrah’s tremendous effort with the ball led India to a thrilling six-run victory against New Zealand in the third and final One-Day International, ensuring a 2-1 series win for the home side at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur on Sunday (October 29). This was India’s seventh consecutive bilateral series win, their best such streak ever.

After Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, won the toss and opted to field, India rode on a 230-run partnership between Rohit (147 off 138) and Kohli (113 off 106) to post 337 for 6 in 50 overs. In reply, the New Zealand batsmen fought their hearts out but could only reach 331 for 7 in 50 overs.

The chase got off to a dramatic start after Colin Munro, the left-handed opener, belted Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1 for 92) for 19 runs, including an overthrown boundary from Kohli, in the first over. Instead of opting for the full and slow line that has troubled Munro throughout the series, Bhuvneshwar went with the ploy of bowling barrage of bouncers and paid the price for it. The right-arm seamer ended up giving 42 runs off his first four overs.

Amidst the chaos happening at the other end, Jasprit Bumrah remained calm and kept varying his pace to disrupt Munro and Martin Guptill’s charge. With Munro going berserk, all Guptill had to do was give him more strike but instead, the right-hand batsman fell while going for a big shot on 10, becoming Bumrah’s 50th wicket in ODIs. Having got there in his 28th match, Bumrah was the second quickest India to the mark, behind Ajit Agarkar, who had taken only 23 games.

Munro was then joined by Williamson and the two kept the scoreboard moving to keep pace with the required rate. With the likes of Bhuvneshwar and Hardik Pandya struggling to contain the batsmen, Kohli soon handed the ball to his spinners. While Axar Patel and Kedar Jadhav were negotiated by some smart batting, Yuzvendra Chahal (2 for 47) did manage to create some doubt by getting the ball to turn.

Munro, who was entrusted with the responsibility of attacking at the top, hit seven fours and three sixes to do justice to his role. His charge was halted by Chahal, who knocked the batsman over with a flighted delivery for 75 off 64. The dismissal also brought an end to a solid 109-run stand for the second wicket, and a few overs later, Chahal also deceived Williamson in flight to send him back for 64 off 84 and swing the momentum towards India.

Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who helped New Zealand script a win in Mumbai with a 200-run partnership, once again started well. The duo mixed caution with aggression and pounced on every bad delivery. Latham, in particular, went hard on Bhuvneshwar, who had a rare bad day at the office.

Just when it looked like the two would take the game away from India, Bumrah broke through the 79-run stand to get rid of Taylor for a 47-ball 39. Latham though, kept the battle going and reached his half-century off just 37 deliveries. He was well supported by Henry Nicholls, who shouldered the responsibility of finding boundaries equally.

With 50 runs needed off 30 balls, Nicholls hit a couple of boundaries before perishing to Bhuvneshwar for a 24-ball 37. Having struggled throughout the game, Bhuvneshwar returned to bowl a brilliant 47th over where he took the wicket of Nicholls and gave away only five runs. The pressure started to build on Latham and a miscommunication with Colin de Grandhomme led to his departure in the form of a run-out. The left-hander blasted seven fours en route to a 52-ball 65.

Coming in at No. 8, Mitchell Santner smoked one down the ground and brought the equation down to 15 from 6. Having already proved his mettle in these kinds of situations, Bumrah delivered a brilliant final over to help India pull through and end with the match-winning figures of 3 for 47.

Earlier, Tim Southee (2 for 66) started the day by bowling short and wide outside off to Rohit. The Mumbai batsman pounced on the opportunity by slashing one past point for a boundary in the very first over. The 28-year-old pacer soon pushed his length a bit fuller and along with Trent Boult (0 for 81), his new-ball partner, stuck to that region despite leaking occasional boundaries. The tactic finally paid off in the seventh over when Shikhar Dhawan shimmied down the track to launch Southee over his head but instead ended up offering a simple catch at mid-off.

Coming in at No.3, Kohli opened his account with a trademark flick towards the midwicket boundary. Rohit, at the other end, looked a completely different batsman after failing in the first two encounters. The opener made sure that he capitalised on every ordinary delivery before unleashing his signature pull stroke to blast Adam Milne (2 for 64) for a stylish six over deep midwicket.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli had a lot of fun in the middle – BCCI

Rohit, who carries some happy memories in Kanpur, where he scored a fighting 150 against South Africa in a losing cause in 2015, brought up his fifty in the 17th over. With Rohit looking in ominous touch, Kohli made sure that there was flawless rotation of strike. In the process, Rohit became only the second player after Kohli to score more than 1,000 runs in the ODI format in 2017.

The duo kept finding boundaries at regular intervals and raced to their century partnership after surviving a few run-out scares. The two have now shared 100-run stands 12 times, lagging only behind Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly (26) and Tendulkar-Virender Sehwag (13).

The arms started to open up once Rohit got to his 15th ODI century, also his first against New Zealand. The pair smacked seven boundaries in the space of 12 deliveries bowled by Boult and de Grandhomme to make their intentions clear. During that 12-ball carnage, the last boundary that came off Kohli’s deft touch made him the fastest cricketer to get to 9000 ODI runs (in 194 innings). It then didn’t take him too long to ease to his 32nd ODI hundred.

The partnership was finally broken by Santner (2 for 58), the left-arm spinner, in the 42nd over when Rohit hit one straight to long-off and walked back to the hut to a long ovation from the Kanpur crowd. His knock was studded with 18 fours and 2 sixes. Hardik Pandya, once again pushed to No.4, couldn’t stick around for long this time, becoming Santner’s second victim.

New Zealand did manage to pull things back from the 40th to 45th over where they gave only 33 runs. The pressure got the better of Kohli, who was soon sent back by Southee after having smacked nine fours and a six in his innings.

The much-needed finishing kick was finally provided by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25 off 17) and Kedar Jadhav (18 off 10). The two got some useful boundaries to get India to a total which proved just about enough at the end.

The focus will now shift to three-match Twenty20 International series, scheduled to get underway on November 1 in Delhi.


Courtesy/Source: Wisden India

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