As KL Rahul's exceptional spell continued against New Zealand, the star cricketer etched his name in history books as he became the first India batsman to score a century against Kiwis in New Zealand while coming to bat at number five or below. His century helped India post a comprehensive total of 296 /7 in 50 overs in the final ODI.
Coming out to bat at a crucial time, Rahul notched up a fine century off 104 balls against New Zeland at Bay Oval. KL Rahul, along with Shreyas Iyer, helped in fuelling India's total by playing calculative shots and keeping the scoreboard ticking simultaneously.
A century at number five is such a rarity right for the Men in Blue as the last batsman to hit a ton at this spot was former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who did it against England in 2017. Rahul has been in sublime form on the current tour as he scored three half-centuries before bringing up his maiden century.
Manish Pandey, who replaced Kedar Jadhav in this game, joined KL Rahul at the crease. Both started playing positively and piled up runs for India. They formed a 107-run partnership before KL Rahul got out for 112 trying to up the ante. Manish Pandey was batting on 42 and India were 269/5 after 46.4 overs.
Earlier after put into bat, India had a terrible start to their innings as opener Mayank Agarwal's stumps were left in a mess by Kyle Jamieson for just a single run. Kyle Jamieson set up the Karnataka batsman's wicket beautifully. He kept bowling outswingers and got one to straighten just a little from good length which was enough to go past Mayank Agarwal's defence.
India skipper Virat Kohli joined Prithvi Shaw at the crease. But once again, Virat Kohli failed to score big as he got out to Hamish Bennett for just 9. Prithvi Shaw who was playing fluently was joined by Shreyas Iyer. Both steadied the Indian innings after two early wickets. Just when it looked India had some sort of partnership going, Prithvi Shaw ran himself out for 40 as the team's score was 62/3.