India seal series 3-0, beat New Zealand by seven wickets in third ODI

India's Virat Kohli calls for a helmet during their third one day international cricket match against New Zealand at Bay Oval, Tauranga, New Zealand, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/John Cowpland)

India registered a comfortable victory against New Zealand in the third ODI in Mount Maunganui on Monday.

India registered a comfortable victory against New Zealand in the third ODI in Mount Maunganui on Monday as the visitors won the encounter by seven wickets to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Kohli and Co. sent out a loud and clear message ahead of the 2019 World Cup by dominating the Black Caps across all fronts. While the bowlers did much of the damage to restrict the Kiwis to 243 in 49 overs, Rohit Sharma (62) and skipper Virat Kohli (60) hit half-centuries to complete the chase with ease.

Chasing under lights, Shikhar Dhawan’s was the first batsman to depart for 28 after which Rohit opened up and slammed his 39th half-century. Rohit smashed three boundaries and two sixes during his stay at the crease before being stumped off Mitchell Santner’s bowling.

Kohli, who brought up his 49th ODI half-century, also hit six fours and a maximum before Henry Nicholls took a brilliant catch to dismiss him off Trent Boult.

But from thereon Dinesh Karthik (38 of a run-a-ball) and Ambati Rayudu (40 off 42 balls) guided India over the finishing line with an unbroken 77-run stand for the fourth wicket.

This was a perfect end to Kohli’s final match of his tour Down Under as the Indian captain has been given a break as part of BCCI’s workload management programme.

Hardik shines on return

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya, who made a return after being provisionally suspended for his sexist and racist comments on a TV show, justified his selection by delivering an impressive performance. Pandya picked two wickets in his 10 over spell and also took a spectacular catch to get rid of Kane Williamson.

Mohammed Shami (3/41 in 9 overs) provided the initial breakthrough as Colin Munro (7) edged one to Rohit Sharma in the slip cordon while Bhuvneshwar Kumar worked in tandem to pick 2/46 in his 9 overs.

Except for efforts by Ross Taylor (93 off 106 balls) and Tom Latham (51 off 64 balls), New Zealand once again failed to find the solution against a formidable Indian attack.

The fourth match will be played on Thursday in Hamilton.

Source: The Indian Express

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