Amit Mishra produced a magical spell to claim 5 for 18 as India clinched five-match ODI series 3-2 with a thumping 190-run victory in the final game, in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. It was a perfect Diwali gift for the Indian cricket fans as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men carried the demolition job in style as the spinners made Black Caps' succumbed to their lowest-ever total against India in ODIs.
Batting first, India scored 269 for six on a surface where scoring was difficult as Rohit Sharma (70) and Virat Kohli (65) hit half-centuries. In reply, New Zealand were skittled out for a paltry 79 in only 23.1 overs. There were five New Zealand batsman who failed to open their account during their dismal last day on Indian soil. Mishra, who picked his second five-for was supported well by Axar Patel (2/9 in 4.1 overs) and Jayant Yadav (1/8 in 4 overs).
The leg-spinner, who did not get a chance during the Test series ended up with 15 wickets in the five-match series. Not only did his performance fetch him Man of the Match but also the Man of the Series award pipping Virat Kohli, who scored 358 runs with a century and two half-tons.
A score of 270 on a surface where the ball wasn't coming onto the bat would have been a challenge but New Zealand would have hardly imagined that wickets will fall in a heap when they were placed at 63 for 2.
The visitors lost eight wickets with addition of just 16 runs in space of 51 balls dashing hopes of their first bilateral series win in India. It took five balls for the Kiwis to realise that the road ahead is rocky when Umesh Yadav cleaned up last match's hero Martin Guptill to make them 0/1 in first over. Fresh from his match-winning 72 in Ranchi, Guptill was done in a by a beautiful good length ball from Yadav as it squared him up, grazed the pad before toppling the off-stump.
Skipper Kane Williamson and New Zealand's most consistent batsman of the series, Tom Latham (19) tried to build a partnership but before they could settle down a fit-again Jasprit Bumrah gave another breakthrough dismissing the left-hander to end a 28-run partnership.
On a pitch that offered turn, Dhoni brought on left-arm spinner Axar in the ninth over as Williamson and Taylor survived some anxious moments in the middle and progressed at steady pace to being 46/2 after the Powerplay.
Little did they know that they would crash in no time as Dhoni employed spin-force full on from both ends and no one disappointed including debutant off-spinner Jayant, who trapped Corey Anderson (0) lbw en route to his maiden wicket.
(Feature image source: PTI)