Oh, what a match we were bestowed upon by the cricket gods! It was a spectacle that could have not been planned any better. It all began – and ended – with the assault of Rohit Sharma on the Kiwi bowlers.
The match took place at Seddon Park in Hamilton where the pitch is known to assist the batsmen. When Rohit Sharma took off for India, it felt as though the Mumbai Indians captain would ensure that the Men in Blue would get to a score of above 200.
However, he got out after making 65 from 40 balls while also giving India the platform to breach the 200 mark. But it wasn’t to be as the scoring rate declined the moment he got out.
While the rest of the batsmen got themselves a start, the Men in Blue managed only 179 runs, some 10-15 runs short on the pitch.
For the Kiwis, Hamish Bennet was the pick of the bowler. He conceded 40 runs in his first two overs but then made a solid comeback in the next two as he ended up with 3 wickets to his name while conceding 54 runs.
The Kiwis then began the chase in a strong fashion with opener Colin Munro and Martin Guptill taking the score to 47 when the latter got out. The southpaw, too, soon got out however, with Kane Williamson now having to do the heavy lifting.
And that is exactly what the Kiwi captain did as he smashed his way through the Indian bowling line up to make 95 from just 48 balls. By the time there were only four balls left in the match, New Zealand needed only two runs.
But then tragedy struck, the Kiwis faltered. Mohammed Shami got the wicket of Williamson and then also took out Ross Taylor in the final ball of the innings to tie the match.
After that, the usual happened with the hosts. They displayed a good showing in the Super Over with Williamson leading them yet again to post a target of 18 runs for India to chase.
The visitors managed to score just 8 runs from the first four balls and needed 10 runs from the last two balls.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Rohit Sharma smashed two sixes in two consecutive balls to take India to the coast of victory – giving them their first ever T20I series win in New Zealand.
It was a brilliant display of batting from both sides which was only decided by a freakishly good over of bowling from Mohammed Shami, which goes to show that even in a game of batsmen, it was a bowler that made all the difference.
With the series already in the bag for the Men in Blue, they can now target a whitewash against the Kiwis.