Chasing a daunting target of 197, the hosts got off to the worst start possible as Boult removed opener Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Rohit Sharma (5) in the second over of the innings itself. Dhawan was the first to return to the hut as he was castled by the left-arm pacer. While Rohit poked at a ball outside the off-stump and gave away and easy catch to wicket-keeper Glenn Phillips in the same over.
Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then joined forces in the middle and the duo steadied the Indian ship by putting on a decent partnership. The two hit few boundaries to put the pressure back on the visitors and in doing so, they also put on 54 runs for the third wicket.
However, Iyer's (23) innings finally came to an end as he went for an extravagant shot and ended up top-edging a Munro delivery and the all-rounder took a brilliant running catch off his own bowling. Hardik Pandya (1) soon followed suit as he missed a wrong one from Ish Sodhi and the ball crashed into his stumps.
MS Dhoni then joined skipper Kohli in the middle and the duo then started the job of reviving the Indian innings. While Kohli batted well and kept hitting boundaries to keep the hosts in the match, Dhoni found it hard early on in his innings to middle the ball.
But Kohli kept going and notched up his 18th T20I fifty. Also, during the course of his innings, he became the second highest run-scorer of in the history of game. Kohli overtook Sri Lanka legend Tilakratne Dilshan and the India skipper is now only behind Brendon McCullum (2,140) in this illustrious list.
Kohli and Dhoni kept the scoreboard ticking and Dhoni hit a huge six to help the hosts cross the 100-run mark. However, the 56-run stand was finally broken by Mitchell Santner in the 17th over, when he removed Kohli for 65. India's hopes also vanished with Kohli's dismissal as the asking rate was too much for Dhoni to do it all alone in the end.
Axar Patel (5) was the next to depart as he became Boult's third scalp of the day. Dhoni (49) hit few boundaries right at the end to provide some respectability to the score but he too fell in the last over of the day to Boult. In the end, the hosts fell short by 40 runs as the Kiwis forced the series into the decided in sublime fashion.
Earlier, India won the toss and elected to bowl first, handing fast bowler Mohammad Siraj his international debut. But it was the Colin Munro show as the left-hander showed his batting prowess, smashing 109 off just 58 balls, hitting seven boundaries and seven maximums.
It was a rather forgettable night for the debutant Siraj, as he conceded 53 runs off his four overs. Munro and Guptill ensured that the Kiwis got off to a flier, as the two had a 105-run opening partnership.
Guptill scored 45 off 41 balls before Chahal dismissed the opener with a brilliantly flighted delivery. Guptill looked to hit over long-on, but the ball hit the outer half of the bat and Pandya completed a rather simple catch at long-off. Kane Williamson's ordinary tour continued as he became Siraj's debut wicket, as he looked to flick one over square leg where Rohit completed a good catch.
However, India had a rather ordinary day in the field, with Munro being given three chances. First, when he was batting on 45, Shreyas Iyer palmed one over the boundary, a simple catch which should have been taken but Iyer made a mess of the catch as he looked to stay away from the boundary rope.
Then, Rohit Sharma messed up a chance of a run-out as his poor throw let Munro off. The southpaw decided to go for what looked like a suicidal single, but Rohit's poor throw from the covers let the Kiwi opener off the hook. Munro was on 52 at that time and the missed chance proved to be very costly for the hosts. Chahal then let Munro off for the third time, as he dropped a skier, running back when Munro was batting on 79.
Though wicket-less, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar were again the pick of the bowlers as they conceded just 23 and 29 runs respectively in their four overs, and were the reason why Kiwis couldn't reach 200. Local boy Axar Patel conceded 39 from his three overs, while Pandya conceded 14 in his solitary over.
colin munroIndia vs New Zealand 2017Martin GuptillMS DhoniRajkot T20Irohit sharmaTrent Boultvirat kohli
First Published: November 4, 2017, 11:08 PM IST