S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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No result India 219 (Washington 51, Iyer 49, Mitchell 3-25, Milne 3-57) vs New Zealand 104 for 1 (Allen 57, Conway 38*, Malik 1-31)
Rain took centre stage again, washing out the final ODI of the series in Christchurch after 18 overs of the New Zealand chase of India's 219. Thanks to Finn Allen's 54-ball 57 and Devon Conway's 38 not out in 51 balls, New Zealand were at 104 for 1, well ahead of the DLS target, when the players were taken off the field at Hagley Oval. But since the 20-over mark had not been reached, the match ended in a no-result, giving New Zealand a 1-0 series win. It was the fourth of six matches in the short white-ball series to not have a result - India had earlier won the three-match T20I series 1-0.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss, fielded first, and their seamers exploited whatever help there was in the surface and the conditions to dismiss India for 219. Adam Milne and Daryl Mitchell picked up three wickets each to peg India back. And if it had not been for Washington Sundar's first ODI half-century - following Shreyas Iyer's 49 from No. 3 - India would have struggled to get to 200.
Arshdeep Singh, bowling the second over of the chase, bowled a maiden where he troubled Devon Conway by moving the ball both ways. But Allen couldn't be contained at the other end and, gradually, Conway also got going, even hitting four fours in a Deepak Chahar over. It helped New Zealand race to 59 without loss in ten overs.
Umran Malik's high pace brought with it quick runs - his first two overs went for 21. Allen feasted on his bowling as he got to a 50-ball half-century, reaching the mark by swatting Washington over long-off. But then Malik had Allen caught in the covers for India's first, and only, wicket. An over later, the skies opened up.
Rain had been forecast for the game, as noted in our preview, and a drizzle delayed the start of the match by ten minutes. After that, Tim Southee and Matt Henry kept openers Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill quiet on the whole. This despite Dhawan frequently making use of his feet to charge down the pitch in a bid to put the quick bowlers off their lengths. His first two boundaries - a four over cover point and a six over long-on - both came after he dashed down the track. But, at the end of ten overs, all he had to show for his adventures was 25 off 36 balls.
Gill, who got off the mark after facing 11 dots, struck two fours - a delectable drive through extra cover followed by a front-foot pull through midwicket - before flicking one to forward square-leg to hand Milne his first wicket. Milne, in for Michael Bracewell in the XI, then got Dhawan playing one on via the inside edge following another slink down the wicket. In between, though, he grassed Iyer at deep third.
Iyer and Rishabh Pant steadied the ship for a while without really getting any momentum going. Iyer looked assured, timing his cuts and punches through the off side well while also not shying away from the heaves to the leg side. But Mitchell, who had only one ODI wicket before Wednesday, prised out Pant with a short one before Suryakumar Yadav edged one to slip off Milne for the second time in the series.
Iyer, who looked set to score his second half-century of the series, then sliced one only for Devon Conway to take a sharp catch running in from sweeper cover. At 121 for 5, India were in tatters.
When Deepak Hooda fell with India on 149, they were in danger of being way short of the 200-run mark. But Washington showed his batting chops for the second time in the series - following his unbeaten 16-ball 37 in the first ODI - and added good runs with the tail before becoming the last man to fall.
The total looked well short of par, and New Zealand looked good to hunt it down. However, the rain ensured that we will never know if an unexpected result was in the offing.
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