• Blackcaps edge India to clinch series

    Colin Munro’s half-century helped New Zealand secure a tight four-run victory against India in Hamilton during the third and final T20I to clinch the series 2-1, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.

    Having won the toss and electing to bowl first, India didn’t have the best of days with the ball. Under-fire opener Colin Munro sent a strong message to his critics with a fantastic 72 off just 40 balls that included five fours and five mammoth sixes that earned him the Player of the Match award.

    His 80-run opening partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert (43 off 25 balls, 3×4, 3×6) was the perfect platform for New Zealand before Colin de Grandhomme’s 30-run cameo (16 balls, 3×4, 1×6) in the tail-end of the innings helped the home team reach 212-4 in their 20 overs.

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    Having failed to chase down a score above 200 in the first T20I against New Zealand, the visitors had a poor start with the bat as left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner dismissed the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan (5 off 4 balls, 1×4) in the first over.

    Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma (38 off 32 balls, 3×4) fought back alongside allrounder Vijay Shankar (43 off 28 balls, 5×4, 2×6) in a free-flowing 75-run stand before Santner returned to break up the third-wicket partnership with the wicket of India’s top-scorer Shankar in the ninth over.

    Dinesh Karthik (33 off 16 balls, 4×6) and Krunal Pandya (26 off 13 balls, 2×4, 2×6) had New Zealand nervous with a blistering 63-run partnership in the death overs but could only take India within four runs after 20 overs, resulting in the home side clinching the victory that sees them take the 2-1.

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    New Zealand will hope to carry their momentum into the upcoming series against Bangladesh at home while India will hope to get back to winning ways when they play Australia at home at the end of the month.


    Photo: Getty Images