Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme played knocks of 80 and 58 respectively as New Zealand defeated India by five wickets in the third ODI of the three-match series here at the Bay Oval on Tuesday.
With this win, New Zealand whitewashed India in the ODI series. This loss is India's first series defeat in any format since March last year.
Chasing 297, New Zealand got off to a steady start as openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls saw off the first ten overs and scored more than 60 runs. The duo eventually went on to register an opening stand of 106 runs. Yuzvendra Chahal finally provided the breakthrough for India in the 17th over as Guptill (66) was sent back to the pavilion.
Skipper Kane Williamson, next joined Nicholls in the middle and the duo formed a 53-run stand. But again Chahal stood up for India as he dismissed Williamson (22) in the 28th over, reducing the Kiwis to 159/2.
Ross Taylor (12), who starred with the bat for the hosts in the first two matches of the series, failed to leave a mark as he was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja in the 32nd over. Soon after, Nicholls (80) was sent back to the pavilion by Shardul Thakur, reducing Kiwis to 189/4.
Neesham and Tom Latham reprieved the innings for the hosts after forming a 31-run stand, but Chahal brought India back into the match as he dismissed Neesham (19) in the 40th over.
In the end, de Grandhomme (58*) and Latham (32*) took the Kiwis over the line by five wickets with balls to spare.
Earlier, KL Rahul's knock 112 runs guided India to 296/7 in the allotted fifty overs.
Put in to bat first, India got off to a bad start as the side lost Mayank Agarwal (1) and Virat Kohli (9) with just 32 runs on the board. Opener Prithvi Shaw (40) played some attacking shots and tried to play counter-attacking cricket, but he also perished via a run-out in the 13th over, leaving India in a spot of bother at 62/3.
Shreyas Iyer and Rahul then retrieved the innings for India as the duo put on a 100-run stand, but their vigil at the crease came to an end in the 31st over as Jimmy Neesham dismissed Iyer (62), reducing India to 162/4.
Rahul, then found support in Manish Pandey and the duo moved the scoreboard at a brisk pace. The right-handed Rahul brought up his fourth century in the 45th over of the innings.
This was Rahul's (112) first century while batting at the number five position. However, Rahul (112) and Pandey (42) perished in the 47th over, leaving India at 269/6.
In the final overs, New Zealand did not allow India to run away with the game and as a result, the visitors were restricted to under 300-run mark. Hamish Bennett left a mark with the ball as he scalped four wickets.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 300/5 (Henry Nicholls 80, Martin Guptill 66, Yuzvendra Chahal 3-47) defeat India 296/7 (KL Rahul 112, Manish Pandey 42, Hamish Bennett 4-64) by five wickets.
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