Third T20I: India romp past New Zealand to clinch series

Captain Hardik Pandya snaps up four wickets after Shubman Gill strikes his maiden Twenty20 international century

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India's Hardik Pandya (right) bowls against New Zealand at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. — AFP
India's Hardik Pandya (right) bowls against New Zealand at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. — AFP

Published: Wed 1 Feb 2023, 8:55 PM

Captain Hardik Pandya came up with a brilliant bowling performance and opener Shubman Gill struck his maiden Twenty20 international century as India defeated New Zealand by a whopping 168 runs in the deciding T20 International in Ahmedabad to clinch the series 2-1 on Wednesday.

Pandya picked four wickets and Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi and Arshdeep Singh took two each as India shot out the Kiwis for a paltry 66, in a chase of 235.

Earlier, Gill made an unbeaten 126 in 63 balls and put on 103 runs with skipper Hardik Pandya for the fourth wicket to raise the noise at the world's biggest cricket ground in Ahmedabad.

With the series tied at 1-1 after India's narrow win in the previous match, the hosts elected to bat first and Gill scored his first T20 fifty for the national side and converted it into a hundred at the batting-friendly wicket.

Off-spinner Michael Bracewell struck early as he got the left-handed Ishan Kishan lbw for one in the second over of the innings at the 132,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium.

Gill, 23, hit back with a flurry of boundaries including three in one over off Blair Tickner and Rahul Tripathi, who hit 44, joined the charge as the two put on 80 runs.

Tripathi smashed three sixes including one off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi only to get caught out next ball in another attempt to clear the ropes.

Gill, who became only the fifth Indian batsman to record centuries across all three formats, found another attacking partner in Suryakumar Yadav, a T20 sensation whit 24 off 13 balls, as the two kept up the onslaught.

Tickner cut short Suryakumar's stay at the wicket with Bracewell taking a sharp catch at mid-on.

But the unstoppable Gill changed gears and raised his ton off 54 balls with a boundary as he took off his helmet and let off a roar.

Pandya fell for 30 but Gill remained unconquered to hand The Black Caps a victory target of 235.

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