Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Chahal, Bumrah help India edge eight-over shootout

India 67 for 5 (Pandey 17, Southee 2-13) beat New Zealand 61 for 6 (de Grandhomme 17*, Bumrah 2-9) by 6 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Harris: Rohit's catch won India the game

Chris Harris and Ajit Agarkar reflect on India's six-run win against New Zealand in the series decider

Just over a week ago, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah were India's bowling heroes in a gripping, high-scoring ODI series decider in Kanpur. On Tuesday they combined to deny New Zealand once again, this time in an eight-overs-a-side dogfight on a damp, grippy surface in a rain-shortened maiden international game at the Greenfield Stadium.

Sent in to bat, India struggled to force the pace against square turn from Mitchell Santner and canny changes of pace from Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Virat Kohli got off to a bright start, clattering Ish Sodhi for four and six off his first two balls, but holed out on 13, and the rest of the batsmen couldn't quite find their timing on a difficult surface.

If the conditions and the bowling weren't hard enough to contend with, they also ran into Santner who had a storming day in the field. He took two good catches to send back the openers off successive balls, and later pulled off a spectacular assist to remove top-scorer Manish Pandey, sprinting from long-on, throwing himself to his right, plucking the ball out of mid-air and flicking it to Colin de Grandhomme coming the other way from deep midwicket.

All this left New Zealand 68 to win their first proper series, in any format, in India, and Chahal and Bumrah led the defence with combined figures of 4-0-17-2. New Zealand scored 44 off their other four overs, but it wasn't quite enough.

Colin Munro began the chase ominously, stepping out to the first ball he faced and launching Bhuvneshwar Kumar over the midwicket boundary. Bhuvneshwar pulled things back through the rest of the over with a succession of knuckle balls, the last of them sneaking past Martin Guptill's slog and rattling his off stump, and New Zealand were 8 for 1.

Munro's power made him a key wicket for India, and Bumrah prised him out with three excellent balls - all of them hitting the deck just short of a good length and forcing the left-hander to hit against the right-arm-over angle. Two dots forced Munro to charge out, Bumrah saw him coming and shortened his length, and his cross-bat heave skewed over mid-on, from where Rohit Sharma sprinted to complete a tumbling stunner. Only three came off that over.

Chahal, relishing the grip and turn on offer, kept the ball wide of off stump to both right- and left-hander, and didn't concede a single boundary in his two overs. Every second ball he bowled was a dot, and this was especially commendable given the pressure he bowled in.

Colin de Grandhomme had just launched Kuldeep Yadav for a flat six over long-on - perhaps the cleanest hit of the night - when Chahal came on to bowl the sixth over with New Zealand needing 32 off the last three. He beat the bat with his first two balls to de Grandhomme, both on a length too short to hit down the ground but not short enough to hit square, both pitching outside off and making him reach, one a slider and one a ripping legbreak.

India used Bumrah in the penultimate over, and even though it wasn't his best over - it included a wide, a succession of byes, and a full-toss flicked for four by Tom Bruce - it still only cost 10 runs, and left New Zealand 19 to get off the last six balls.

Kohli went for Hardik Pandya rather than Kuldeep, and the allrounder closed it out, though not without a couple of alarms. De Grandhomme stung Pandya's left hand with a powerful straight hit, and next ball clubbed a slower one over the square leg boundary to bring the equation down to 14 off three. A wide next ball made it 13 off three, but Pandya pulled himself together and found the lengths to deny de Grandhomme and Santner any more big hits.

A First


This is the first series win for India against New Zealand in T20Is. Before this, they hadn't won even a single match in five attempts.