India vs New Zealand 3rd T20I : The Indian team, led by Rohit Sharma, will be aiming to become the first side to win a T20 International series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the final match here on Sunday. It has been a season of records for the Men in Blue who won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand. The T20 series is now locked at 1-1 with the hosts winning the first one convincingly and India returning the favour in style in the last game. (Scorecard)
India vs New Zealand 3rd T20I: New Zealand won the match by 4 runs to clinch the series 2-1
* The pitch was a batting paradise and two relatively-unknown faces in Daryl Mitchell and Blair Tickner were the pick of the bowlers. They hit the right lengths under pressure and ensured they did not go for too much. Even though Southee's final figures were not too impressive, he bowled the all-important final over and ensured that his team went over the line and won the series 2-1.
* What a humdinger here at Seddon Park. The 3-month long sojourn though has come to an end with the Indians losing a series at last. The Kiwi total of 212 was just too much in the end. The Indian chase started with Shikhar Dhawan departing early. Rohit Sharma was joined by Vijay Shankar in the middle and they both took the innings forward. The former was playing second-fiddle as his partner went after the bowling. Shankar fell and was replaced by Pant who then carried on that role but not for long. The required rate meant that both batsmen had to go for big runs but the Indian skipper was just unable to do so. He eventually fell for a pretty slow innings in the context of the game. MS Dhoni went early, Dinesh Karthik and the Pandya brothers tried their best but fell just short of the mammoth total. The Kiwi bowlers held their nerve to snatch victory, especially Tim Southee in the last over after going for plenty in his previous one.
15.54: IST: SIX! But that won't matter much. NEW ZEALAND WIN BY 4 RUNS! A length delivery outside off, Karthik gets one from the middle of the bat as he powers it over covers for a maximum.
15.52 IST: Tough tough call that! A yorker outside off and Karthik looks to come inside the line and ramp it but then seeing the ball outside off decides to change his shot.
15.50 IST: Full on the pads here, Karthik flicks it away in the gap to deep mid-wicket for a couple of runs. Great fielding under pressure there.
* 16 needed off 6 balls. This is tense. Dinesh Karthik is there on strike. Straightaway his Nidahas trophy final heroics come in our mind.
15.49 IST: SIX! That is the best result if you are an Indian fan. A length ball outside off and Kuggeleijn errs on the last ball. IND 197/6 in 19 Overs
* A discussion between the bowler and his captain now. Third man and fine leg have come in. So the bowler has to keep it nice and straight now.
15.46 IST: SIX! That has gone a mile! Karthik is special! A length ball and really pacy, Dinesh rocks back and has enough time to deposit the ball way back over the rope at deep backward square leg.
15.44 IST: IND 183/6 (18 overs). Need 30 runs in 12 balls. Krunal 18*, Karthik 17*
15.51 IST: FOUR! 15 off three balls! A full toss outside off, Krunal opens his arms and thwacks it over covers for a cracking boundary. He is turning it on.
15.40 IST: FOUR! Inside edged for four. The Indians will not mind how they come as long as they do. A length ball outside off, Krunal goes for the slog but gets an inside edge that runs past Sodhi for a boundary to fine leg. Needed a dive there did Ish.
15.39 IST: SIX! Wide outside off and Krunal reaches out and lifts it way back into the stands over deep cover for a maximum. Pressure on the bowler. IND 172/6 (17.1 overs)
*Tickner is back on.
15.33 IST: SIX! High...high...and handsome! Just stand and delivery. Uses his long reach to attack that bowler and spanks it over extra cover for a maximum. Good start to the over. IND 154/6 (16.1 overs)
15.31 IST: SIX! This one has disappeared. India won't go down without a fight. Mitchell bowls it short around middle and off, Karthik shuffles across to get inside the line and then pulls it all the way over deep backward square leg for a biggie.
*Krunal Pandya is the new man in.
15.29 IST: OUT! High in the air and easily taken by Southee at long on. The Kiwis see the end of Dhoni and this is a sight that will hurt the Indian fans. A length ball and MS Dhoni goes for the huge one over long on. Does not get all of it and the ball goes higher rather than far. Holes out at long on. India losing their way now in the chase, still need 68 in 28 balls. Mitchell has really bowled well today in the context of the game, 2 wickets. IND 145/6 (15.2 overs)
* Dinesh Karthik is the new man in.
13.25 IST: OUT! Bizarre dismissal. Ball is flying, bat is flying, the former is caught which matters the most for the Kiwis. Kuggeleijn digs in a short ball on off at 144 kph, hurries up the batsman with his strong pace. Hardik tries to pull but the bat slips from his hand as he makes contact and it balloons towards mid off. Kane Williamson moves swiftly across to his right from extra cover and takes the catch safely. IND 145/5 (14.5 overs)
*MS Dhoni is the new man in.
15.19 IST: OUT! Huge wicket in the context of the game. Rohit was looking out of sorts but everyone knows how dangerous he can be. IND 140/4 (14 overs)
15.18 IST: SIX! Waits for the ball and smashes this one straight back into the sightscreen. A slower ball from Daryl, Hardik waits and waits before he uses his bottom hand and deposits this one over the rope straight back behind the bowler. IND 140/3 (13.4 overs)
15.17 IST: FOUR! In the air... but in the gap as well. Hardik must have had his heart in the mouth for a moment there. A low full toss and Pandya whips it away but does not get it too cleanly. The ball flies to the left of deep mid-wicket luckily for India and goes to the rope for a boundary. IND 134/3 (13.3 overs)
14.13 IST: SIX! He has come in with a license to hit. Short in length around off, Pandya jumps inside the crease to get on top of the ball and pulls it enormously over mid-wicket.
* Hardik Pandya is the next man in.
15.11 IST: OUT! The first international wicket for Tickner and it has come off a full toss. The pressure was building and Pant in a bid to hit out has given it straight to the fielder at mid-wicket. A full toss outside off, Rishabh looks to slog that over cow corner but does not get the elevation. Kane Williamson takes a smart catch and this wicket has come at a really important time. IND 121/3 (12.2 overs)
* Blair Tickner is back on now.
15.01 IST: SIX! Pant just loves spinners! Goes with the turn on this occasion. Attacks it with all his might, fetches it from outside off and launches it over long on. 16 from the over. India well on track in this big run chase. 105 needed off 60 balls. IND 108/2 in 10 Overs
14.59 IST: SIX! Packs a punch! Sodhi lands it very full outside off, Pant orchestrates his raw power there. Absolutely butchers it over long off for a biggie.
14.57 IST: SIX! Second boundary of two balls he has faced. This is incredible batting by someone who has just walked out.
14.55 IST: FOUR! Pant is up and running. A flatter one on the pads, Rishabh sweeps the first ball he faces away wide of short fine leg. No fielder back there ensures it's a boundary.
* Rishabh Pant arrives.
14.54 IST: OUT! Four and then a wicket. Shankar was just picking up his pace but has to depart now. IND 81/2 in 8.2 Overs
14.50 IST: SIX! Bang! Shankar is pressing on the accelerator. A googly landing full on off, Vijay kneels and smokes it over mid-wicket for a biggie. IND 77/1 in 7.5 Overs
14.48 IST: SIX! Wow, that is a shot of high quality! Full and floated one again by Sodhi, Shankar reaches out for it and thumps his lofted shot over covers for a biggie.
* Ish Sodhi to have a go now.
14.47 IST: Only five runs from the over and India need 151 runs in 78 balls now
* Mitchell Santner is back on attack
14.42 IST: FOUR! Up and over! Another slower delivery, short and wide outside off, Shankar reaches out for it and hits it firmly over mid off. Not timed properly but still a boundary. 50 up for India!
* Scott Kuggeleijn is back on.
14.40 IST: FOUR! Two in two! Smart shot from the Hitman. The last one was all about power and this one was about touch.
14.38 IST: FOUR! Rohit dances down the track and smashes this ball wide of mid off. Beats the infield and picks up a boundary.
* Tim Southee is back from the other end.
14.35 IST: FOUR! A length ball outside off and Shankar looked to punch it through the covers but the ball is sliced and it goes over backward point. Into the fence on a bounce. Almost six that one. Good ball though that. IND 37/1 in 3.5 Overs
* Debutant Blair Tickner to bowl now.
14.31 IST: FOUR! Quicker you bowl, faster you travel. Scott clocks 150 kph this time. Lands it on a length around middle and Vijay muscles it down the ground for a boundary. 11 from the over! IND 29/1 in 3 Overs
14.28 IST: FOUR! You cannot bowl on the pads of the Indian batsmen. Scott commits that sin and Shankar once again uses the pace of the bowler to flick it behind square leg for a boundary. Right from the middle of the bit
* Bowling change. Scott Kuggeleijn to have a go now...
14.25 IST: FOUR! Well controlled. A length ball outside off, Sharma just opens the face of the bat and runs it fine of third man for a boundary. Deft. IND 17/1 in 1.5 Overs
* Tim Southee to bowl from the other end.
14.23 IST: FIVE WIDES! An arm ball gone wrong. Santner bowls this one down the leg side and the keeper cannot take that one. It goes to the fence for a boundary. Bonus runs for India.
* Vijay Shankar walks in at number 3.
14.21 IST: OUT! Hit to the at the man at deep square leg. A flatter one on middle, Dhawan looks to sweep it away but fails to keep it down. The ball goes in the air and Daryl Mitchell comes forward and takes a brilliant tumbling catch. A massive wicket for the Kiwis early on in the chase. IND 6/1 in 0.5 Overs
14.19 IST: FOUR! Boundary number one of the chase. Short and wide outside off, punished by Dhawan as he cuts it away to the boundary.
* The players and the umpires make their way out to the middle. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as usual to open for the Indians. Surprise, surprise. Mitchell Santner has the new ball for the Kiwis. 213 to win, who will? Let's play..
* A mammoth score has been put up by the Kiwis. This will take some chasing down. Rohit Sharma won the toss and put the Kiwis in on a belter of a wicket. What followed was the Seifert-Munro show. Just like the first T20I, they got their team off to a brilliant start. The openers reached 80 before they were separated in the 8th over. That did not deter the Kiwis as the runs kept flowing. Munro smashed the bowlers to all parts but was also helped by the sloppy fielding of the Indians. He finally fell for 72 but the rest of the New Zealand batsmen continued the good work. Everyone who came in played small, important knocks. The total was propelled to a massive 212 thus.
14.06 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Ross Taylor, FOUR! Taylor smashes this one for a boundary and NEW ZEALAND FINISH WITH 212/4. A short of a length slower one outside off and pulled away wide of deep mid-wicket for a boundary. NZ 212/4 in 20 overs
14.02 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Ross Taylor, SIX! Powerfully struck! A short of a length ball sitting up to be hit, Ross sits back and pulls this one over the head of deep square leg. It goes a few rows back. NZ 206/4 in 19.1 overs
*Khaleel to bowl the final over.
14.00 IST: Bhuvneshwar to Daryl Mitchell, FOUR! The 200 is up for the hosts! Courtesy a top edge. A shorter length ball outside off and Daryl throws the kitchen sink at that one. The ball takes the top edge, flies over the head of short fine leg. NZ 200/4 in 18.5 overs
*Ross Taylor walks in at number 6.
13.57 IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Colin de Grandhomme, OUT! Good death bowling. A nice fuller length ball wide of off stump and Grandhomme reaches out for that ball and looks to smash it over cover. The ball takes the outside edge and goes to Dhoni who does not make a mistake. The ball would have been a wide had he left that alone. A good result for India though, a wicket and a dot ball. NZ 193/4 in 18.2 overs
13.51 IST: Hardik Pandya to Daryl Mitchell, FOUR! What a shot that is from Mitchell! A leg stump half-volley, Daryl leans forward and across before flicking it handsomely to the deep mid-wicket fence. NZ 187/3 in 17.2 overs
13.49 IST: Bhuvneshwar to de Grandhomme, FOUR! Errs in execution this time and concedes a boundary. Full toss on middle, Mitchell smashes it straight over the bowler's head for a boundary. 15 from the over. New Zealand charging towards a total of 200-plus. NZ 182/3 in 17 overs
13.46 IST: Bhuvneshwar to de Grandhomme, FOUR! Poor line from Bhuvi. Brings third man up and bowls it short and wide outside off. Colin needs no second invitation to put it away through backward point. NZ 175/3 in 16.2 overs
13.45 IST: Bhuvneshwar to de Grandhomme, FOUR! Good start to the over for the Kiwis! Kumar eyes the yorker first up but ends up slipping a full toss outside off, de Grandhomme drills it through the gap between mid off and extra cover. NZ 171/3 in 16.1 overs
*Bhuvi is back into the attack.
13.43 IST: Krunal Pandya to de Grandhomme, FOUR! This game is unfair for the bowlers. A good ball outside off and de Grandhomme reaches out to smash it, gets an outside edge and the ball flies over short third man for a boundary. Fifty up, for the bowler that is. NZ 165/3 in 15.5 overs
13.41 IST: Krunal Pandya to de Grandhomme, SIX! In the arc and out of the park. A flatter one but it lands as a half-volley on middle, Colin powers it over deep mid-wicket for a maximum. No, no, no says Dhoni from behind the wicket. NZ 158/3 in 15.2 overs
*Daryl Mitchell is in next.
13.38 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Kane Williamson, FOUR! Caught at short fine leg. Williamson has to go. A pacy short of a length ball from around the wicket by Khaleel, Kane comes inside the line and looks to lift it over fine leg who was in the circle. The ball comes onto him too quickly and goes high in the air but not far enough. Kuldeep settles under it and takes a simple catch. NZ 150/3 in 14.4 overs
13.36 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Kane Williamson, FOUR! Master! Caresses this fuller one outside off with such great timing for a boundary through cover. Brilliant batting. 150 is up here for the hosts. NZ 150/3 in 14.3 overs
13.35 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Kane Williamson, FOUR! Powered away by Williamson. A length ball outside off and Kane is on his toes as he drives this ball on his toes wide of deep cover where Shankar makes a good effort but cannot stop the ball. NZ 144/2 in 14.1 overs
*Colin de Grandhomme in next in.
13.31 IST: Kuldeep Yadav to Munro, OUT! Smart stuff from Kuldeep! Munro departs for 72. Relief for Khaleel. A flighted ball well outside off, Munro wants to hit for a maximum and goes chasing after that ball. The ball takes the top edge and goes to Hardik who comes running in from long on. Takes a good catch and sends back the danger man. Finally, a second wicket for the bowling team. NZ 135/2 in 13.2 overs
13.29 IST: Hardik Pandya to Munro, FOUR! Munro's punishing time. Khaleel must be feeling really bad now. A length ball and it is smashed way back over long on for a biggie. This is really good batting but not such good bowling. NZ 134/1 in 12.5 overs
13.28 IST: Hardik Pandya to Munro, SIX! Boom! That's a powerful hit. This one is right in the zone for Munro, he flexes his arms and dismisses it over long on for a maximum. He has three figures in his mind at the moment. NZ 130/1 in 12.4 overs
13.27 IST: Hardik Pandya to Munro, FOUR! Misfield this time by Shankar! It's spreading. First a dropped catch and now this. Momentum in T20 is so crucial. New Zealand had it before losing Seifert, then a wicket meant India stormed back but it's again slipping away from the Men in Blue. A low full toss on middle, Munro whips it across the line through mid-wicket and it races away. Shankar in the deep moves across to his right, puts in a dive but fails to stop it cleanly. NZ 124/1 in 12.3 overs
13.26 IST: Hardik Pandya to Colin Munro, DROPPED! That is a sitter! Khaleel Ahmed the man in the firing line. A slower ball on middle and leg, Munro looks to turn it away on the leg side. The ball goes off his top edge and high in the air.
*Change in bowling. Rohit Sharma brings back Hardik Pandya.
13.24 IST: Kuldeep Yadav to Williamson, FOUR! That has just kept running away from the fielder. A flatter one outside off going the other way, Williamson gets a thick outside edge as he looked to drive off the back foot. The ball runs away from Pant at short third man as he was chasing it. NZ 118/1 in 11.5 overs
13.21 IST: Krunal Pandya to Colin Munro, FOUR! Smashed over cover. Munro is seriously timing them really well here. NZ 110/1 in 11 overs
13.18 IST: Krunal Pandya to Munro, SIX! Smacked over deep mid-wicket. A flatter one outside off and Munro reaches out and slogs it over the fence. Fifty for him as well, his 9th in T20Is. The 100 is up for the Kiwis as well. NZ 102/1 in 10.1 overs
13.15 IST: Kuldeep Yadav to Munro, SIX! Shot! Yadav slows this one up in the air and delivers it full around off. Turning back in and Munro smokes it over square leg after going down on one knee. It's with the turn and goes all the way. NZ 95/1 in 9.4 overs
*Kane Williamson walks out to the middle
13.10 IST: Kuldeep Yadav to Tim Seifert, OUT! That was a matter of centimeters. MS Dhoni, you genius. Only he can do this. What reflexes! Kuldeep delivers it full and outside off, Seifert stretches forward to play at it but it spins away to beat the bat. Dhoni collects the ball and is lightning quick in taking the bails off. He appeals after that and then goes to celebrate with his players. The square leg umpire refers it upstairs. It looks like a close matter. The third umpire watches a few angles and then rules it in the favour of the fielding team. Those swift hands of MSD! Legendary. NZ 80/1 in 7.4 overs
*Kuldeep Yadav to bowl now.
13.02 IST: Hardik Pandya to Seifert, SIX! What timing! An off-pace length ball well outside off and Seifert reaches out to the ball and lifts it way back over long off for another maximum. NZ 77/0 in 6.3 overs
13.01 IST: Hardik Pandya to Munro, FOUR! The runs are flowing here. A length ball outside off and driven wide of mid off where Kuldeep makes a diving effort but can't stop the ball. NZ 70/0 in 6.1 overs
12.58 IST: Krunal Pandya to Seifert, SIX! Over the short boundary at fine leg. A fuller length ball on middle, Seifert comes inside the line, takes it on the full and lifts it over the ropes at fine leg for a maximum. This is turning into a very expensive over. NZ 64/0 in 5.5 overs
12.57 IST: Krunal Pandya to Munro, FOUR! Wonderfully played! Krunal goes flat this time. Darts it full and outside off, Munro anticipated that line, makes room by hopping back inside the crease and then strokes it over extra cover. NZ 57/0 in 5.3 overs
12.56 IST: Krunal Pandya to Munro, SIX! Dispatched! Krunal serves one right in the slot for the batsman. It's full and on middle, Munro kneels down and goes with the spin. Swings his big arms and nails his slog sweep over mid-wicket for a biggie. NZ 53/0 in 5.2 overs
*Krunal Pandya is introduced into the attack.
12.52 IST: Hardik Pandya to Colin Munro, FOUR! In the air... but also in the gap. A length ball on the hips. There was not enough room but Munro still goes through with the short arm jab. The ball goes in the air but is well away from Shankar at deep mid-wicket. Goes into the fence on a single bounce. NZ 44/0 in 4.3 overs
*Hardik Pandya replaces Bhuvi
12.49 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Seifert, FOUR! Slower one again travels to the fence. Back of a length ball on middle at 118 kph, Seifert stays back and eases his pull behind square leg for a boundary. 16 from the over, this has been a Wellington-kind of a start for the Kiwis. NZ 38/0 in 4 overs
12.47 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Seifert, SIX! Great connection this time. Seifert premeditates his movement inside the crease. Takes it on the full and spoons it all the way over fine leg for a biggie. NZ 32/0 in 3.3 overs
12.47 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to Seifert, FOUR! Dropped! Goodness me, that would have been some catch by Vijay Shankar. Wow, what an effort! Khaleel lands it on a length and in the line of the stumps, Seifert advances down for the lofted shot over covers but ends up slicing it over point. Shankar runs back from inside the ring, keeps his eyes on the ball and then tries to catch it with a dive. But he fails to hold on and palms it behind for a boundary. Full marks for this type of fielding. NZ 26/0 in 3.2 overs
12.44 IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Tim Seifert, Pinpoint again from Kumar! Any bat will be broken if the ball continuously hits it at the bottom with such yorkers. All Tim can do is jam the ball out towards the off side. A really good over from Bhuvi so far.
12.39 IST: Kuldeep Yadav to Tim Seifert, FOUR! Slower ball and read out of the bowler's hand by the batsman. On a good length outside off, sat up to be hit and Seifert makes good enough contact for the ball to go over the head of cover and all the way to the fence.
*Khaleel Ahmed to operate from the other end.
12.35 IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Colin Munro, SIX! Munro has made his intentions clear in the very first ball. A short of a length ball on middle, Colin comes down the track and flat-bats this one over long on for a biggie.
12.30 IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Tim Seifert, Fuller one on middle, the Black Caps are off the mark straightaway as Seifert works this away through mid-wicket for a couple.
12.28 IST: The players and the officials have taken their position on the field. Tim Seifert and Colin Munro are the openers for the hosts and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is ready with the new ball for India. All to play for, let's go...
12.25 IST: Right now the national anthems are going on. It's really a great atmosphere here. Jam-packed stadium for this crunch game. We can't wait for this contest to begin.
12.05 IST: Playing XIs -
India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni(w), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed
New Zealand: T Seifert, C Munro, K Williamson(c), D Mitchell, R Taylor, C de Grandhomme, M Santner, S Kuggeleijn, T Southee, I Sodhi, B Tickner
12.02 IST: Captain's talk -
Kane Williamson: We would have had a bowl. Looks like a good surface. It's important to the job up front. In T20 cricket, to take wickets is really important. We have to assess the conditions. Fantastic performance in the first game, not quite there in the second. That is very important in T20 cricket. Tickner comes in, he makes his debut, a well-deserved opportunity.
Rohit Sharma: We are looking to bowl first. It's a good pitch. We didn't have a great result the last time we played here. It's a big game. The combination allows us to chase as we bat deep. We have a good record chasing. It's been a long summer for us, we are all are professionals and we have a job to do. We have made one change, Kuldeep comes in place of Chahal.
12.00 IST: TOSS - Rohit Sharma wins the toss, choses to bowl first
11.58 IST: Pitch Report:
Simon Doull: "It's a really nice surface. It has a great covering of grass on it and it will aid the pace. Not a lot of turn here. The batsman will control this game. 200 runs is probably going to be a decent score batting first on this surface. You need at least that with the lack of turn and just the easy pace."
11.56 IST: On the other hand, the New Zealand skipper in the post-match interview wanted his boys to be relaxed and remind themselves of the good things they have done while batting in the past and put it into practice. That seems to be the factor that will decide the game. How will the Kiwi batting fare this time around? Which one will turn up on Sunday, the one that made 219 or the one that managed just158? Let us wait and watch...
11.50 IST: For the visitors, the no-change formula worked in the previous match and the players did do very confidently in the second chance they got. Yuzvendra Chahal is having a few bad outings and might be replaced with Kuldeep Yadav who is on the sidelines waiting for his turn. But going by what Rohit said at the toss in the second T20I, the combination that they had for the first and second T20Is were the best-suited ones in Kiwi-land.
11.45 IST: A stellar comeback from the Men in Blue in the second game has seen the series being kept alive at 1-1 as the two teams made the drive to Hamilton. Seddon Park will play host to the last game of the long, gruelling 3-month tour of the Indian team to this part of the southern hemisphere.
10.30 IST: Hello and welcome to our live blog. The match is scheduled to start from 12.30 IST, with the toss set to occur at 12.00 IST. Do join us then to catch all the live updates of the series finale.
Brief Preview: In a season of many firsts for the Indian cricket team, Rohit Sharma's men will be aiming to become first among the equals to win a T20 International series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the final match here Sunday. The past three months have made for a memorable phase for the Indian cricket team, which won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand. (Read Full Preview)