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3rd T20I: Rohit's 23-ball fifty guides India to 179/5


Press Trust of India Hamilton
Rohit Sharma scored 65 runs off 40 balls as India posted 179 for five in the third T20 International against New Zealand here on Wednesday.
Rohit's blitz included six fours and three sixes as he put on 89 runs for the first wicket with KL Rahul (27 off 19 balls).
This was after New Zealand won a third straight toss, but opted to field this time around. The hosts made one change with Scott Kuggeleijn coming in for Blair Tickner. India remained unchanged.
Rohit and Rahul then teed off immediately as New Zealand bowlers struggled to come to terms with the slow pace of the Seddon Park pitch.
Both Tim Southee (0-39) and Hamish Bennett (3-54) were taken for runs as the Indian openers unleashed a flurry of boundaries. India raced to 69 off the first six overs.
Rohit got to his half-century off 23 balls as he smacked 27 runs off Bennett's second over. It was the third time he had scored a T20I half-century off as many balls, with his fastest coming off 22 balls against West Indies in 2016.
Rahul though fell to Colin de Grandhomme (1-13) at the other end. Surprisingly, Shivam Dube (3) was promoted to number three but the move didn't work out. He was out after facing a laborious seven deliveries, which also sucked momentum out of the Indian innings.
The pressure told at the other end as Rohit was dismissed off Bennett as well. India lost three wickets for seven runs in the space of three overs.
Skipper Virat Kohli (38 off 27 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (17 off 16 balls) then tried to resurrect the innings with a 46-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Both hit a six each.
Iyer's dismissal was the turning point, stumped off Mitchell Santner (1/37) in the 17th over. Two overs later, Kohli was caught at extra cover.
Manish Pandey (14 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (10 not out) pushed the score past 170 but India fell short of a 200-score the openers had set up.
India lead the five-match series 2-0 after winning the first two T20Is in Auckland.

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First Published: Jan 29 2020 | 2:20 PM IST

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