India 111/2 (Rohit 51, Gill 40*) beat new zealand 108 (Phillips 36, Shami 3-18, Washington 2-7, Hardik 2-16) by eight wickets
After a thrilling final-over finish in Hyderabad, India rode on an inspired performance from their pacers to seal an eight-wicket win in Raipur to seal the series 2-0 with one match to spare. India’s dominance began with a display of swing and seam to bowl out New Zealand for 108 in 35 overs on international debut at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium. Two quick return catches also helped matters.
Shami was the first to strike when he chased a couple of outswingers, including one, and was bowled by Finn Allen for a duck in the first over. His swing and Siraj’s wobbly seam tied down the top order, and Siraj edged Henry Nicholls at first slip in the sixth over.
Four balls after the fall of Nicholls, Shami took a sharp return catch off Daryl Mitchell with his left arm to end his first spell at 4-1-5-2, while Siraj read 4-1-4-1. . Shardul Thakur and Hardik also found success soon after being brought on and kept the pressure on the visitors.
Devon Conway pulled off some nerve in the ninth over by registering his first boundary of the innings, but Hardik sent him back in the very next over with another return catch. Thakur also struck when Tom Latham, who had dropped almost half his first 16 deliveries, gave Gill his second catch at first slip while chasing a wide.
Phillips, Bracewell and Santner all troubled India, but briefly. In the 19th over, Phillips started off with back-to-back fours off Hardik before Bracewell dispatched Shami for four successive low fulltos – including a top edge over the wicketkeeper. Shami immediately turned around the wicket and smashed in a bouncer that ended a stand of 41 when Bracewell was caught behind for 22.
At 56 for 6, Phillips and Santner put on a patient stand of 47, courtesy of two lives by Santner when he dismissed Kuldeep Yadav. The first came when Rohit, diving to his right at midwicket, missed a difficult chance, and later Kuldeep missed an easy comeback opportunity despite carrying the ball over his head with both hands.
Phillips scored well during his 36 with boundaries off Thakur’s loose deliveries. Santner also hit Kuldeep for two fours after the halfway mark of the innings, but was dismissed just after New Zealand had crossed 100.
Hardik started the 31st over with a slower ball of 112.8 kmph, which Santner cut through the inside edge and New Zealand collapsed again. Two long-hops from Washington Sundar saw Phillips and Lockie Ferguson out at deep midwicket, and Kuldeep wrapped up the innings in his eighth over by trapping Blair Tickner.
In the chase, Rohit and Gill started patiently as the new ball was spinning. Soon, however, Rohit went on the offensive, hitting Ferguson for a six in the fifth over before beginning with a pull off Henry Shipley in the second. Whenever the scoring was quiet for India, Rohit would either open up another pull or create space to send the ball down the off side, including a brilliant six over cover off Tickner. Rohit also used the cut with perfect timing to collect the boundary as Gill waited more patiently for the loose balls to collect the boundary. Rohit also swept and reverse-swept Santner to bring up his fifty off 47 balls, but was trapped lbw by Shipley low in front of the off-stump.
Kohli was stumped for 11 off Santner after he hit Shipley for two fours and Kishan and Gill hit three fours in 11 balls to win the match.
Vishal Dixit is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo