Thiruvananthapuram: India sealed their 8th consecutive bilateral series with a 6 run win over New Zealand in the 3rd and final T20I at the Greenfield Stadium at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. With the match being curtailed by rain, Kane Williamson won the toss at elected to bowl in an 8-over match for each sides. Led by Southee and Sodhi, who claimed two wickets each, the visitors restricted the Men in Blue to 67-4 in the first innings.
However, despite piling on the pressure early on in the 2nd innings, the Black Caps lost their way, losing wickets at regular intervals as they failed to keep the required run rate in control. Kohli’s men ran out comfortable winners in the end.
In the first innings: Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi picked up two wickets each as they restricted India to 67-4 in the series decider at the Greenfield Stadium on Sunday. Manish Pandey and Hardik Pandya were the top scorers in India's short batting spell. The hosts will now aim to pick up wickets as they eye another bilateral series.
New Zealand 61-6 in 8 overs:
WICKET! Henry Nicholls falls cheaply. Bowling round the wicket, Bumrah bowls it down the leg, tempting the batsman to play a paddle sweep. He scoops it straight to Iyer at fine-leg.
ANOTHER ONE! The chinaman tosses it up and Phillips fails to pick out the wrong one. Dhawan at mid-on takes a safe catch.
RUN OUT! Another one bites the dust. Williamson drag a delivery off Kuldeep to Pandya at mid-off but the all-rounder takes a direct hit. The Kiwi skipper is not even in the frame.
WICKET! Two big fishes gone as Rohit Sharma takes a thrilling catch, diving backwards at midwicket. The lenght from Bumrah is perfect and Munro fails to slice it over mid on. He finds Rohit who holds on safely. Amazing comeback from the hosts.
BHUVI STRIKES! The pacer bowls a knuckle ball and bamboozles Guptill completely. The southpaw misses and Bhuvneshwar hits.
India 67-4 in 8 overs:
Boult leaks just 6 runs off the last over as India end at 67-4. The highlight of the innings has been Santner's fielding heroics that led to two wickets each for Southee and Sodhi. India would have been happy with something around 80, but its a challenging total nonetheless. Picking wickets will be the key if they need to win!
WICKET! Another peach of a catch by Santner. Pandey connects well, but does not get the distance. Santner at the long off boundary rope, dives and gently throws it to Grandhomme as he is out of control. Pandey departs after a well made cameo. Trent Boult appreciates the effort.
WICKET! Poor shot and Shreyas Iyer depart. Charges down the wicket, aiming to smack Sodhi over midwicket, but makes no connection. Guptill at long off takes an easy catch.
This is not an easy track to bat on at all. Ball stopping and bouncing. 80 might be a really good score— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 7, 2017
WICKET! The Greenfield crowd is in absolute silence. Having striked a few biggies, Kohli attempts to smack Sodhi over mid-wicket but lands the ball straight to Sodhi. There's a call for overstepping, but the bowler is safe.
WICKET! Another beauty by Santner! Southee bowls it short and Rohit isn't in good position when playing the pull shot. Santner at fine leg puts in a stunning dive to keep Southee on a hat-trick.
WICKET! Dhawan charges down the track and attempts to go big over the covers. The ball goes high up and falls in the hands of Santner at mid-off.
India have raced off to a decent start with 7 runs in the first over, but the visitors had the best moment of the game. Dhawan went for a slog off Boult and miscued his shot. The ball just felt short of Sodhi at third man.
One over in and 7 from it - Boult unlucky with a couple of edges falling safe #indvnz— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 7, 2017
Kane Williamson has won the toss and choose to bowl, Virat Kohli says he would have done the same. Tim Southee replaces Adam Milne for the visitors while Axar Patel and Mohammed Siraj have made way for Manish Pandey and Kuldeep Yadav.
IND XI: RG Sharma, S Dhawan, V Kohli, MS Dhoni, H Pandya, S Iyer, M Pandey, B Kumar, K Yadav, Y Chahal, J Bumrah— BCCI (@BCCI) November 7, 2017
NZ XI: M Guptill, C Munro, K Williamson, T Bruce, G Phillips, H Nicholls, C de Grandhomme, M Santner, T Southee, I Sodhi, T Boult— BCCI (@BCCI) November 7, 2017
Fans can expect a exciting contest and as they teams are yet to be announced, both the teams will pack their sides with batsmen to get the most out of their overs.
Finally some good news! Toss is set to take place at 21:15 IST. Slight tweak in the rules - four bowlers can now bowl upto 2 overs each.
The toss for the 3rd and final T20I between India and New Zealand at the Greenfield Stadium has been delayed due to rain at the venue.
Previously, India were on course for another T20 series win, as they were set to take on Australia in the T20 series decider in October, before rain washed out play. Let's hope the same does not continue today.
If the match is called off, this will be 2nd time in a row that the final match of India's bilateral T20 series will be called off.
The Indian players have already started warming up and it's a good sign for this rain-curtailed match. Next inspection is expected to take place at 21:00 IST.
Looking good now. Hopefully an 8 over game? Great atmosphere here, deserve to get a game— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 7, 2017
The umpires have had a good look at the crease and a call is yet to be taken. A lot of water is still collected on the pitch.
Good news! The drizzle has finally stopped and the covers are coming off now. The umpires are out to inspect the pitch.
UPDATE: The rain has stopped and the covers are coming off now #INDvNZ— BCCI (@BCCI) November 7, 2017
Love the energy of the ground staff here, actually running to take the covers off. Ensuring that no extra time needed once the drizzle stops— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 7, 2017
It's already past 20:00 IST and overs will officially start getting cut from now on. For every 4 minutes gone, an over is sacrificed.
The rain gods have shown no mercy whatsover.
Very gentle drizzle, super soppers out. Needs to stop by around 9 for a 5 over game. (Cut-off we believe is 21.46)— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 7, 2017
Team India have taken the field for a light session of football, as the covers haven't been taken off yet. The rain doesn't look like its going to stop.
Unfortunately still pretty wet here in Trivandrum. Covers on and drizzle persisting. Hopefully clears up soon #indvnz— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 7, 2017
Surely this drizzle isn't going to ruin the occasion for the sports lovers of Kerala. So hoping we will get a nice game— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 7, 2017
Shashi Tharoor also posted about the rain threat at the venue on Twitter a while back. Will the rain gods show mercy today?
Latest picture from theTrivandrum cricket stadium. It will be a miracle if there is any play today. But we cricket fans believe in miracles! pic.twitter.com/IzoexGz7hW— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 7, 2017
With the three-match Twenty20 series up for grabs, hosts India will square off against a spirited New Zealand side at the Greenfield International Stadium here on Tuesday for the decider. While the Virat Kohli-led India outplayed Kane Williamson and co. to win the first Twenty20 in New Delhi, the visitors returned the favour, clinching the Rajkot T20 by 40 runs, and levelled the series. With the series currently locked at 1-1, the final game could be a thriller.
However, an anti-climax is on the cards as continuous rain since the past couple of days cast shadows over the match. While a washout, like in the final game of the recent India versus Australia T20 series, would be a disappointment for the fans, who are expected to flock the stadium which is hosting its first international match, it remains a possibility as the weather forecast predicts rain in Thiruvananthapuram in the evening.
On paper, both the teams are evenly matched with quality bowling and explosive batting. The Men in Blue will be looking to dish out a solid performance in all the three departments after a disappointing performance during the second T20 in Rajkot.
The cricketing fans will also keep a close eye on how MS Dhoni performs with the bat in this match. The former India skipper has come under scrutiny from the likes of VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar following India's defeat in second T20.
While Virender Sehwag and Sunil Gavaskar have thrown their weight behind embattled Dhoni, India's World Cup-winning skipper will be keen to let his bat do all the talking.
The Kiwis, meanwhile, will be looking to continue their winning momentum from the last game to end the tour with a series win. If Williamson and co. manage to tame Virat Kohli’s side, the Black Caps will become the first side to win a bilateral series against India in India since South Africa’s ODI series win (3-2) back in 2015. Also, if India lose the match, this will be a first bilateral series defeat for Kohli as skipper of the team.
With weather forecast predicting rain, the Duckworth-Lewis method may come into play. If that happens, Kohli and Williamson will have to alter their game strategies. Fans at the stadium will be hoping that rain gods stay away from the game so that they will be treated to exciting contest between both the teams in the series decider.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
The match is scheduled to start at 7 P.M.
Where you can watch the match live:
The live telecast of the match will be available on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1, whereas the fans can watch the live streaming of the match on Hotstar.