The pressure of dot balls prompted Seifirt to go after Vijay Shankar.
Exploiting batting friendly conditions at a small ground, New Zealand cut the Indian attack to shreds to post an imposing 212 for four in the series-deciding third Twenty20 International, here Sunday. Opener Colin Munro produced a 40-ball 72 and shared a 80-run stand with fellow opener Tim Seifirt (43) to lay foundation for a big score after India captain Rohit Sharma elected to bowl. Runs came thick and fast as skipper Kane Williamson contributed 27 and Colin de Grandhomme produced a crucial 30-run cameo off 16-balls. Krunal Pandya proved to be the most expensive bowler of the lot as he bled 54 runs in his four-over quota. The left-arm spinner was guilty of bowling full length deliveries, which were easier to attack.
If it was not for left-arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (2/26)’s tight bowling in the middle-overs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/37 in 4 overs), India would have got a bigger target to chase. Bhuvneshwar was hit for a six by Munro in his first over but the lean pacer responded with splendid block-hole deliveries in the next over. The pressure of dot balls prompted Seifirt to go after Vijay Shankar. He went for a big hit but edged it towards third man region where Vijay Shankar made a valiant effort but just fell short as he could just touch the ball.
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It was a tough chance but Serifirt, who was on 11, got a reprieve. The Kiwis though did keep a very healthy run-rate, racing to 50 in just 5.2 overs when Munro heaved one off Krunal Pandya for a huge six and followed it up with a boundary on the off side. Krunal bled 20 runs in that over. Seifiert, who paddle swept both pacers and spinners with ease, lofted Hardik for a six over long off. Indian bowlers had conceded 79 runs in first seven overs when captain Rohit Sharma brought Kuldeep Yadav and the leg-spinner straight away made an impact, by getting Seifirt stumped with Dhoni’s lightening quick hands at work. Munro kept going strong as he hammered Krunal for a six to raise team’s 100 in the 11th over.
Again it was Kuldeep who came to team’s rescue by seeing the back of dangerous-looking Munro while Khaleel Ahmed got rid of Williamson (27). There was no respite for the Indian bowlers, though, as Daryl Mitchell (19) and Ross Taylor (14 off 7) helped New Zealand finish the innings strong by taking 61 runs in the last five overs.