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Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 11, 2019, 6:26 PM IST

New Zealand beat India by 4 runs in what was a closely contested third and final Twenty20 international at Hamilton to seal a 2-1 series victory on Sunday.

Colin Munro, who has been dropped for the opening two ODIS of New Zealand's upcoming series against Bangladesh, responded in a defiant manner as he scored 72 to help the home team post a commanding 212/4 after the hosts were asked to bat first by India.

Munro, who was dropped twice in the course of the innings, smashed five fours and as many sixes alongside fellow opener Tim Seifert to lay the foundation for a big total.

Man-of-the-series Seifert, whose ability to find the boundaries on a regular basis helped beat India by 80 runs in the opening match, made 43 off 25 balls before being dismissed.

Steady contributions by the Kiwi middle order helped them post a big total, with Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor both playing their parts in the latter parts of the first innings.

A 75-run partnership for the second wicket between stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and Vijay Shankar put India in a strong position after Shikhar Dhawan departed early.

However, their middle-order failed to capitalize as wickets tumbled even after batsmen got starts and the tourists finished with 208/6 in 20 overs.

Vijay played well for his 43 but his aggression eventually got the better of him and he missed out on what would have been a well-deserved half-century.

Rishabh Pant slammed a four and two sixes with his first three scoring shots and was 28 off 12 before he fell victim to debutant Blair Tickner, swiping at a full toss that was caught at mid-wicket to give the bowler his maiden wicket in T20Is.

Hardik Pandya also scored 21 quick-fire runs but departed soon whereas MS Dhoni had a day to forget, scoring just the two runs before departing.

Dinesh Karthik (33*) and all-rounder Krunal Pandya (26*) looked likely to take India close to the target towards the end but could not get the side over the finish line, as the 16 runs required in the final over proved too much on the day.

First Published: February 11, 2019, 8:08 AM IST

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