Overcoming early jolts, India rode on KL Rahul’s fourth ODI ton (112) and Shreyas Iyer’s eighth ODI fifty (62) to post a competitive 296 for the loss seven wickets in the third and the final ODI of the three-match series at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.
India were left reeling at 62/3 by the 13th over before Rahul and Iyer steadied the ship with a century stand. Manish Pandey, playing this game in place of Kedar Jadhav, then supported Rahul as the duo also put on a 100 plus stand, but their departures off consecutive balls in the 47th over meant India could not go past the 300-run mark.
For New Zealand, Hamish Bennett returned 4/64 in his ten overs, while Kyle Jamieson and Jimmy Neesham added one wicket each.
A returning Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to field first. NZ had two changes with Tom Bruce missing out for Williamson while Mitchell Santner returned to take Mark Chapman’s place. India made only one change for the dead rubber.
Mayank Agarwal’s horrid New Zealand summer continued as he was out for yet another low score, this time for just one, after he got a peach of delivery from NZ’s new bowling find –Jamieson – with a delivery that landed on the middle and swung just enough to breach Agarwal’s forward prod and clatter the off-stump. Including his A tour scores, Agarwal now averages only 16.6 in ten innings.
Skipper Kohli, who started with a bang with a down that track whip off a length ball off Tim Southee for a six, fell to an outside off delivery from Bennett, caught at deep third man for eight. Prithvi Shaw again impressed, playing an enterprising innings of 40 off 42 balls, hitting three fours and two sixes, but was run-out attempting to go for a double – undone by a terrific throw from deep fine from Colin De Grandhomme.
KL and Iyer Rebuild
But, the men in form –Rahul and Iyer – steadied the ship for the visitors with a stand of 100 for the fourth wicket in quick time – off 80 balls. Iyer notched up his fifty, cementing his credentials at the No.4 spot further. Rahul, who started slow got into his groove and rotated the strike well to keep the scorecard ticking. However, when it looked like Iyer is setting himself up for yet another triple-figure mark, he got out against the run of play, caught at mid-wicket by de Grandhomme off Neesham for 62.
Karnataka Boys Make Merry
Iyer’s departure meant, Rahul was joined by his close friend and Karnataka teammate Pandey and the duo drove India to a position of strength with brisk scoring, taking minimal risk as New Zealand’s intensity in the field and with the ball dropped. Rahul registered his ton off 103 balls, before falling to Bennett in the 46th over for 112 off 113 balls, caught at long-off by Jamieson. A ball later, Pandey fell at long-on for 42 off 48 balls. However, their partnership provided India with the impetus for go for the final flourish. They put on 107 runs for the fifth wicket 16.1 overs.
Shardul Thakur (7), Ravindra Jadeja (7*) and Navdeep Saini (8*) pushed India’s total close to the 300-run mark.
Brief Scores: India 296/7 (KL Rahul 112, Shreyas Iyer 62; Hamish Bennett 4/64) vs India