Hamilton (NZ), January 29: Rohit Super Sharma smashed two consecutive sixes in the final two balls of the thrilling Super Over, leading India cricket team to their maiden T20 series win in New Zealand. In the best of 5 T20I series, India now has 3-0 lead and thus won the series with 2 matches still to go.
In a nerve-wracking finish in the third match here today and needing 18 off six balls in the super over, India had managed 10 off the first four balls. Then Sharma smacked two big hits — one over mid-wicket and the other over long-off — to help India pull off a nail-biting win in a photo-finisher match.
Before the super over, New Zealand in fact had everything under control requiring just two runs off four balls with six wickets in hand to win the match. Mohammad Shami bowled a brilliant death over to tie the game. That is how the Kiwis threw the game away from such a super comfortable position.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamon’s valiant 95 off 48 balls in the run chase and 11 in the super over was not enough to record a win against India. It was Williamson’s highest T20 score as the Kiwis scored 179/6 in reply to India’s 179/5. Earlier, when Indians were put to bat first, Rohit’s 65 off 40 balls, KL Rahul’s 27 off 19 balls and Kaohli’s 38 off 27 balls put India in strong position.
This is India’s first T20 series win in New Zealand came after a 1-2 loss to the Kiwis almost 12 months ago.
As they have done many times earlier, India’s fielding effort was poor. There was an easy drop from Ravindra Jadeja. Jasprit Bumrah proved expensive on the night going for 11 runs in the second last over.
Shami conceded a six off the first ball of the 20th but then removed both Williamson and Ross Taylor in the next five balls not giving New Zealand 2 runs it needed off 4 balls.
Also read: 3rd ODI – A treat for Rohit Sharma fans
The match went to Super Overs – One Super Over each team. For the New Zealand, Williamson and Martin Guptill came out to bat and scored 17 runs, including two fours and a six off Bumrah.
In response India was now required to score 18 runs in their super over. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul came out to bat. India managed only 10 runs off their first 4 balls. With Rohit Sharma on strike to face the last two balls and India needing 8 runs to win, Rohit Sharma hit both balls for six and winning the match and the series for India.
Rohit Sharma who has never batted in a super over before, was awarded Man of the Match.
“Everything was packed. All my stuff was inside my bag. I had to get it out. It literally took me five minutes to find my abdomen guard because I didn’t know where it was. I mean we never thought it would go to the super over. Never batted in a super over before. Didn’t know what to expect”, Rohit Super Sharma told the elated fans.
An ecstatic Indian skipper Virat Kohli was on the seventh heaven and he thundered: “I thought at one stage, we were gone. The way Kane was batting, on 95. Feel bad for him, I know what it’s like to play those knocks when things don’t go your way. Last ball we had a discussion, we had to hit the stumps because if you don’t, it’s a single anyway. Rohit was outstanding”/
Everyone including the Indian fans felt sorry for the Kiwi skipper who made 95 off just 48 balls. And he was graceful in his concession speech when he said: “Super Overs haven’t been too good for us, so we probably need to try and do better in regular time. It was a much better performance all round. Pretty disappointing, losing after an effort like that, but it’s a game of small margins”.