The series-deciding third T20I between New Zealand and India was tied after the play was forced to be abandoned due to rain at the McLean Park in Napier on Tuesday, November 22. Thus, the Indian team continued their unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series to end it on a winning note.
As per the DLS, India needed the same score (75) runs at the end of nine overs which they had already made and it meant the contest was good enough to be declared a tie. Some sloppy fielding in the middle also cost the Kiwis despite them having gained the upper hand earlier.
After winning the toss, stand-in captain Tim Southee decided to bat first. However, the hosts were reduced to 44/2 inside the Powerplay but half-centuries from opener Devon Conway and middle-order sensation Glenn Phillips took them to 160.
India in reply, looked to be staring down the barrel after being reduced to 21/3 in the third over before in-form Suryakumar Yadav’s dismissal immediately after Powerplay put them in total disarray. That is when stand-in captain Hardik Pandya played a counter-attacking knock with an unbeaten 30 runs off 18 deliveries at a strike rate of 166.7 before rain made its presence felt.
Here are the talking points of the match:
Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh’s four-wicket hauls:
Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh worked in tandem as not only did they decimate the New Zealand batting line-up but also went on to register their respective four-wicket hauls. Siraj finished with figures of 4/17 from his four overs at an economy of 4.3 while Arshdeep registered 4/37 from his quota of four overs at an economy rate of over 9.00
Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips’ vital partnership:
The BlackCaps seemed to be in a spot of bother at 44/2 and that is when Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips came to the party and added 86 runs for the third wicket. Conway scored 59 runs off 49 deliveries while Phillips made a quickfire 33-ball 54. Their crucial partnership was instrumental in New Zealand posting a challenging score of 160 on the board.
Losing skipper, Tim Southee said:
It was disappointing even with the bat. We spoke about getting out there and and giving everything we could, take early wickets. We knew if we can get those wickets, anything could happen, but unfortunately the weather came in. You don’t know until both sides batted on it, would have been an interesting game but hasn’t gone the full tilt. Little bit of uncertainty around the scoreboard whether it was a tie when the rain came in. Could have gone either way, the way we attacked with the ball and to put them under pressure was pleasing. Nice to be back in some ODI cricket against a quality side like India. Hoping for a good crowd in Auckland.”
Winning skipper, Hardik Pandya said:
Would have liked to win the game by playing the full overs, but it is what it is. At some point, I felt attack is the best defence on this wicket. We know the kind of bowling attacks they have, it was very important to get those 10-15 runs extra even though we lost a couple of wickets. A game like this could have given us an opportunity to test some of the players, but having said that, weather is something we cannot control. I’m going back home, taking my time off and be with my son.”
Player of the Match, Mohammed Siraj said:
The wicket wasn’t easy to bat and I was prepared to bowl hard lengths which gave me the rewards. I prepared myself to bowl hard lengths and had so much practice during World Cup and I just executed my plans. I always keep it simple. Just bowl the hard lengths. The weather is not in our hands, happy with the series win.”
Player of the Series, Suryakumar Yadav said:
Really happy with the way things have gone till now, would have loved a full game here but as Siraj said the weather is not in our hands. The pressure is always there and at the same time I’m enjoying my batting, just going there and expressing myself. Not carrying any baggage out there. The intent and approach will remain the same. We can just go out and express ourselves, would have loved a full game, but that’s fine.”