India wrapped up the three-match T20I series against New Zealand with a 3-0 sweep as they routed the Kiwis in the final T20 at Eden Gardens by 73 runs on Sunday.
India won the Toss and batted first to post a strong 184/7. On the last two occasions, skipper Rohit Sharma had chosen to field first but today they decided to check their batting depth. In absence of KL Rahul, Rohit (56 off 31) and Ishan Kishan (29 off 21) got India off to fiery start. At the end of the power play, the Men in Blue were cruising at 69 runs off 6 overs.
The first wicket fell when Ishan edged to Tim Seifert off Mitchell Santner in the second ball of the 7th over. There were a couple of quick wickets hereafter as Santner accounted for Suryakumar Yadav (0 off 4) and Rishabh Pant (4 off 6) in the span of two overs. Rohit was unfortunate to lose his wicket after a fine half-century, courtesy of a spectacular caught & bowled by Ish Sodhi.
The Iyer duo of Shreyas (25 off 20) and Venkatesh (20 off 15) cotributed some crucial runs in the middle overs. Venkatesh opened his account in international sixes when he smacked Sodhi over deep mid wicket. The pair added 36 runs off 27 balls, the second highest stand of the Indian innings. After their dismissal, it was an entertaining cameo from Deepak Chahar (21 off 8) that bolstered India's finish.
For NZ, nothing really worked from the very beginning of their chase. Daryl Mitchell (5) and Mark Chapman (0) fell to Axar Patel in the third over, putting the Blackcaps on the back foot. Glenn Phillips (0) didn't last long too as Axar continued his dominance. The Indian bowlers were excellent overall, keeping things tight throughout. Venkatesh Iyer debuted with the ball today as he returned his first international wicket (1-12) dismissing Adam Milne.
Martin Guptill was the only batsman who showed some resilience and continued playing his shots to bring up his fifty (51 off 36). Tim Seifert (17 off 18) along with Guptill added a valuable 39 off 35 balls. But soon after Guptill was dismissed, Seifert lost his wicket too to a brilliant piece of throw from Ishan Kishan. The next four wickets fell in a matter of just 19 runs. Even though Lockie Ferguson came out swinging his bat for a couple of sixes, NZ were soon bundled out for 111 runs.