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India beat Kiwis by 7 runs, whitewash New Zealand 5-0 in T20I Series

Taylor, who was playing his 100th T20I, made yet another half-century, took the game deep but failed to finish it off.

SNS | New Delhi |

After New Zealand bottled up yet another seemingly easy run chase, it is the Indian team which has managed to clean sweep the Kiwis 5-0 after registering a 7 runs win over in the fifth and final T20I at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval on Sunday.

Post winning the toss and opting to bat first, India had managed to score 163 runs at this venue, fair to say a subpar total at this venue.

Scott Kuggeleijn and Hamish Bennett were the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis as they not only picked up 3 wickets between themselves but conceded 21 runs and 25 runs respectively.  New Zealand were off to a good start in the match after they dismissed Sanju Samson in the second over itself.

Post Samson’s dismissal, Rohit and Rahul came together to stitch a handy partnership. While early on Rahul was the aggressor, Rohit took a little bit of time before he got going as runs started to come easily for the Indian duo. The duo added 88 runs for the second wicket before Rahul was dismissed by Hamish Bennett.

Shreyas Iyer then joined skipper Rohit in the middle and it looked like India would run away with the match especially with the form Rohit was displaying but he picked up a calf injury and was forced to retire hurt.

Iyer and Shivam Dube, the new partners in the middle, failed to accelerate as well as they would have liked but a handy little cameo from Manish Pandey in the last few balls somehow propelled India to above 160.

When it was the Kiwis turn to bat, they did not have the best of starts as they were 3 down for just 17 runs on the board, losing both their openers- Martin Guptill and Colin Munro as well as Tom Bruce who was run out after a terrible misunderstanding between the two batsmen in the middle and a brilliant presence of mind from Sanju Samson.

However, Tim Seifert and Ross Taylor stitched a brilliant come back and at one stage seemed to be cruising towards a win.  Taylor, who was playing his 100th T20I, made yet another half-century, took the game deep but failed to finish it off.  While Taylor and Seifert were out there, New Zealand even managed 34 runs from a Shivam Dube over- the second most expensive over in T20I history but India still found a way back again.

Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar were all amongst the wickets on Sunday but it was Bumrah who produced arguably his best performance post-injury comeback (3/12) and led India to a 5-0 series win.

KL Rahul was declared the Player of the Series while Bumrah bagged the Player of the Match award. New Zeland will have to find a way to get over this heartbreaking defeat and come back as a better unit in the ODI series beginning in 3 days time.