AHMEDABAD: Shubman Gill’s unbeaten 126 followed by an all-round performance from captain Hardik Pandya helped India bundle out New Zealand for 66 to register a mammoth 168-run victory over Blackcaps in the third and final T20I of the three-match series here at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
India thumped New Zealand by 168 runs – the biggest win by a Full Member against another in the men’s T20I. With this win, Team India clinched the three-match T20I series 2-1. Daryl Mitchell was the top scorer for New Zealand with 35 in 25 deliveries. While India captain Pandya starred with both bat and ball as he scored a crucial 30 off 17 and scalped 4 wickets conceding just 16 runs in his spell of 4 overs.
Chasing a competitive target of 235, New Zealand got off to a bad start as they lost both openers in under two overs of the game. India skipper Hardik Pandya scalped the wicket of Finn Allen for three. Arshdeep Singh then struck twice to remove Devon Conway on the first ball of the second over and Mark Chapman for a duck. New Zealand were three wickets down at the score of just 5 runs.
Indian bowlers did not let any New Zealand player cement their feet at the crease. New Zealand lost four-wicket in the powerplay as Pandya provided his team with another wicket dismissing Glenn Phillips for 2. Michael Bracewell then came out to bat. Bracewell opened his account with a stunning six off Pandya’s delivery. Umran Malik then delivered a stunner and dismissed Bracewell for 8, leaving New Zealand tottering at 21/5.
New Zealand captain and left-handed batter Mitchell Santner then came out to bat at the crease. Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner then handled the charge and fought against the Indian bowlers. Shivam Mavi then joined the party and struck twice to dismiss Santner and Ish Sodhi. Santner went back to the pavilion after scoring 13 runs, while Sodhi also fell prey to Mavi’s delivery and went into the hut for a duck.
Lockie Ferguson then came out to bat but could not do much as he was dismissed by India skipper. India pacers completely derailed the New Zealand run chase.
Daryl Mitchell and Blair Tickner then put up a tough fight against India’s bowling attack and slammed boundaries at regular intervals. Pandya then scalped the wicket of Tickner in the 12th over of the innings. It did not take long for Indian bowlers to bundle out New Zealand for 66 as Umran Malik scalped the last wicket of Daryl Mitchell.
Earlier, Shubman Gill’s ton and Hardik Pandya’s quick-fire 30 powered India to 234/4 against New Zealand, Gill was the highest run scorer for India with 125 off 63 delivered while Rahul Tripathi slammed 44 and Pandya played quick knocks of 30. For New Zealand, Michael Bracewell, Blair Tickner and Ish Sodhi bagged one wicket each respectively.
Opting to bat first, India got off to a bad start as they lost their star opener Ishan Kishan in the second over of the game. Shubman Gill finished the second over with a boundary. Gill then hammered Lockie Ferguson for 11 runs, while slamming two fours.
The duo Rahul Tripathi and Gill played their game with aggression while slamming boundaries and taking singles at regular intervals. In the 5th over of the innings, Gill opened his hands and slammed Blair Tickner for 14 runs. Tripathi then joined hands with India opener and piled 14 runs off Ferguson’s over.
The young duo continued their carnage and took their team’s total beyond the 80-run mark in the 8th over of the game.
However, in the 9th enthralling over, India lost the wicket of Tripathi off Ferguson’s delivery. Tripathi went back to the pavilion after slamming a six in Ferguson’s over, scoring 44 runs in 22 balls.
Star batter Suryakumar Yadav then came out to bat and handled the charge with Gill to take India’s total beyond the 100-run mark in the 10th over. Gill slammed his maiden T20I fifty in 35 balls.
Suryakumar’s firework at the Narendra Modi Stadium came to an end as the star batter was dismissed by Tickner after scoring 24 off 13 balls. Michael Bracewell took a stunner to remove Suryakumar, who was looking dangerous at the crease.
India captain and right-handed batter Hardik Pandya then came out to bat at the crease. Gill continued his blistering form as he hammered Ben Lister for two back-to-back sixes, piling 14 runs from the over.
In the 17th over of the innings, Gill and Pandya hammered Tickner for 23 runs, with two sixes and two fours. With a stunning four off Ferguson, Gill brought up his hundred in 54 balls.
India crossed 200 runs in the 18th over. Gill then ended the 19th over of the inning with 17 runs off Lister. Pandya’s stint at the crease came to an end as he was dismissed by Daryl Mitchell. Pandya went back to the pavilion after scoring a quick-fire 30 off 17 deliveries.
India only managed to score 6 runs in the last over and posted a challenging total of 234/4 in 20 overs.
Brief score: India 234/4 (Shubman Gill 126*, Rahul Tripathi 44; Daryl Mitchell 1-6) vs New Zealand 66 (Daryl Mitchell 35, Mitchell Santner 13; Hardik Pandya 4-16). (ANI)