New Zealand won the toss for the third time in a row and invited India to bat on a green pitch. The hosts came up with an excellent bowling effort to bowl out the Men in Blue for 219 in 47.3 overs. Adam Milne and Daryl Mitchell starred for the Kiwis with the ball, claiming three wickets each, while Tim Southee chipped in with 2/36. For India, all-rounder Washington Sundar top-scored with 51, while Shreyas Iyer contributed 49.
In response, New Zealand openers Finn Allen (57 off 54) and Devon Conway (38 not out off 51) added 97 runs for the first wicket. The Kiwis were 104/1 after 18 overs, 50 runs ahead of the DLS par score. However, since 20 overs could not be completed in their innings, the match was called off. New Zealand thus clinched the series 1-0.
Speaking after winning the series, home captain Williamson said, “When we have been playing cricket, we have been applying ourselves. Some good stuff in the rained off games too. We knew that 20 overs would constitute a match, but we could see the weather coming, it has been following us.
On the bowling performance, he added, “Daryl has been hanging out for a bowl for ages. Milne felt a niggle but didn't want to stop.”
Looking ahead to the next challenge, the Kiwi skipper commented, “Focus changes to the Test arena. Guys get a break now and that's important too. Been pretty busy. We will regroup as a Test team after the break.”
On the other hand, Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan stated that, going to Bangladesh, hopefully the weather will be better there. Reflecting on the team’s performance in the one-dayers in New Zealand, he commented, “We are a young unit. The bowling unit learnt about bowling the good length area more. We were short at times. All the seniors are going to be back in the side.
“More Asian wickets is a more practical journey to the World Cup for us. Important to get the small things right - right lengths for the bowlers, batting close to the body in these conditions for the batters, these are the learnings,” Dhawan signed off.
--By A Cricket Correspondent