NZ vs Ind 3rd ODI: India pull off dramatic tie
In a nail-biting contest against hosts New Zealand on Saturday, Team India just about pulled out a rabbit out of the hat, but ended up 1 run short of a well-deserved victory, eventually managing a tie.
It was a night full of chaos and drama, with the possibility of a series win for New Zealand. But it all went haywire for the Kiwis who just couldn't keep the Indians at bay till the last ball. Martin Guptill's phenomenal hundred (111) helped New Zealand get off to a brisk start. Kane Williamson (65) once again shone with the bat, scoring his third successive half-century before he fell to Mohammad Shami. The promotion for Corey Anderson up the order didn't bode well for the hosts, who encountered a middle-order rattle coupled with the skipper's batting woes. But Luke Ronchi (38) and Tim Southee (27) gave their side one final push before New Zealand were bundled out for a handsome score of 314 in 50 overs.
India's response was firm this time around, with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan putting up a 64-run stand. But it was only the calm before the storm. Anderson picked up both openers, along side Hamish Bennett's incredible return to international cricket who dismissed the in-form Virat Kohli. Rahane followed, and India were already in a spot of bother at 79/4.
Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni hung in at the crease, building a much-needed 67-run partnership for the 5th wicket. Just as India looked in a better position, Raina's miscued pull gave New Zealand an important breakthrough. R Ashwin was sent in ahead of Jadeja, and he did a fair share of batting alongside the captain. Once again, Anderson's spell proved crucial as he removed Dhoni (50), dashing India's hopes further. However, Ravindra Jadeja's late comeback ensured the match stayed evenly poised.
Ashwin departed to a stunning catch from Guptill, but not before scoring a valuable knock of 65 runs. Left with the tail, Jadeja (66*) batted brilliantly to give India one last chance. With 18 needed off the last over, Jadeja blasted 17 to ultimately tie the game for the visitors.
With the series still alive at 2-0, Team India will be a confident bunch going into the 4th ODI at Hamilton on January 28.