Bowlers power India to 2-1 series win over New Zealand


Ahmedabad: A historic maiden T20I century by opener Shubman Gill (126 not out off 63) followed by a dominating performance by bowlers powered India to a clinical 2-1 series victory over New Zealand with a massive 168-run win in the third and final T20I at the Narendra Modi Stadium, here on February 1.

In terms of run margin, the 168-run win is India’s biggest win in T20 Internationals. It was also the biggest margin of victory in a game played between two full-member nations.

Gill, who didn’t have much success in the first two games, put on a batting show, smashing the Black Caps’ bowlers all-round the park at the world’s largest cricket stadium. Apart from Gill, the likes of Rahul Tripathi (44 off 22), Hardik Pandya (30 off 17) and Suryakumar Yadav (24 off 13) also made vital contributions with the bat.

Chasing a mammoth total, New Zealand were off to a disastrous start as Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya ripped through their top order. A couple of superb reflex catches by Suryakumar Yadav at slips also helped India’s cause.

The likes of Finn Allen (3) and Devon Conway (1), Mark Chapman (0) and Glenn Phillips had no answers against Arshdeep and Hardik and they got out cheaply to leave visitors in deep deep trouble at 7/4 in 2.4 overs.

Earlier, India won the toss and opted to bat first but they lost the wicket of Ishan Kishan very early. The left-hander, who is going through a poor form, was trapped leg before by a flattish delivery from Michael Bracewell in the second over of the innings.

The stage was set for Suryakumar Yadav to come and join the party and he cut a short-of-a-length delivery by Sodhi for a boundary as India were 102/2 at halfway stage. On the other hand, Gill brought up another easy-looking half-century off 35 deliveries.

Whatever New Zealand were throwing his way, Gill was finding a way to send it over the boundary line and he played his trademark cover drive to hit a boundary and bring up his maiden T20I hundred off 54 boundaries.

His sensational innings continued after the century as Gill clubbed Benjamin Lister for six and boundaries to score 17 runs in the 19th over. Hardik Pandya, who was picking boundaries at regular intervals, got out to Daryl Mitchell in the first ball of the 20th over.

Brief scores: India 234/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 126 not out, Rahul Tripathi 44, Hardik Pandya 30; Daryl Mitchell 1-6) beat New Zealand 66 all-out in 12.1 Overs (Daryl Mitchell 35; Umran Malik 2/9, Shivam Mavi 2/12, Arshdeep Singh 2/16) by 168 runs.

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