In a thrilling match at Kanpur, India pulled off a memorable victory against New Zealand to clinch the ODI series 2-1. In the series decider, 'Men in Blue' registered a six-run win in the final match of the three-match series to grab seventh consecutive bilateral series win under Virat Kohli.
Rohit Sharma was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his 147. It was another gem of an innings from 'Hitman,' which was a mixture of maturity, dominance and elegance. Having been asked to bat first, the sensational knock helped hosts put up a big total in a must-win game.
But it in a game where a total 668 runs were scored in 100 overs, it was India's flawless death bowling that decided the outcome of the game. The champion of that impeccable death bowling was Jasprit Bumrah, who was brilliant through out the match and ended with the match-winning figures of 10-47-3.
Calm in a chaotic world
The Kiwis had a brilliant opportunity in front of them to win their first ODI series in India and they started the chase with a bang - a six on the third ball of the innings by Colin Munro. The Black Caps came hard at Indian bowlers and Bhuvneshwar Kumar became a victim of their wrath.
One of the best new-ball bowlers, Bhuvi was smashed all around the park as he conceded 51 runs from his first five overs. On the other hand, Bumrah continued with his usual work among the blitzkrieg. The pacer leaked merely 12 runs in his first spell of 4 overs and also took the important wicket of opener Martin Guptill.
Guptill was Bumrah's 50th ODI wicket. The fast bowler reached the mark in his 28th ODI and became the second quickest Indian to reach the milestone after Ajit Agarkar, who reached there in 23 ODIs.
Drama in death overs
Towards the end, when the Kiwis were cruising towards the target with Ross Taylor and Tom Latham in the middle, skipper Kohli once again chose to fall back upon Bumrah in the 37th over. In his three-over spell, the Mumbai Indians bowler put the brakes on the scoring rate by conceding only eight runs and took the wicket of experienced Taylor in the 41st over.
Bumrah's most crucial over came towards the fag end when New Zealand needed 30 from 3 overs to clinch the match. In the 48th over, the pacer combined his sling-shot deliveries with change of pace to put the stranglehold by conceding only five runs, including run out of dangerous looking Latham to bring a virtual end to Kiwis' chase.
In a game that is highly skewed in favour of batsmen with flat pitches and small boundaries. In a match where apart from Rohit, Kohli also smashed a ton and three Kiwi batsmen scored over 60 and the conditions eased out for batters in the second innings with the help of dew. It wasn't Rohit's 147 that won the match for India. Instead, the victory was scripted with the help of Bumrah's bowling.
Feature image: AFP