New Zealand defeated India by 5 wickets to whitewash their 3-match ODI series 3-0 at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. The hosts put up another clinical performance after winning the toss and sending India into bat. While KL Rahul impressed for India with his 4th ODI hundred, it was Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme who nullified his efforts eventually.
Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli succumbed cheaply to leave series-trailing India struggling at 32-2. After scoring a breezy 40 at the top, opener Prithvi Shaw ran himself out to waste a promising start to his innings. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul then orchestrated with a 100-run stand to continue their respective golden form of the Kiwi summer.
Shreyas Iyer brought up his 8th ODI fifty while KL Rahul underlined his own credentials with a superlative well-paced knock. In an innings that was cleverly paced and brutal alike, Rahul started patiently before finally unleashing a sequence of boundaries. The right-hander notched up his 4th ODI ton by scoring 112 from 113 balls. With single-digit cameos from Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, the ‘Men in Blue’ managed to reach a competitive total of 296-7 from their 50 overs.
Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls formed a 106-run opening partnership over what has seemed to be an out-of-sorts Indian bowling attack off late. Guptill scored 66 from just 46 balls before Yuzvendra Chahal knocked over his off-stump. Comeback man Kane Williamson added only 22 while Henry Nicholls top-scored with a fluent 80. Colin de Grandhomme then finished off the game with a whirlwind 58* from just 28 balls as New Zealand completed the run-chase with 5 wickets and 17 balls to spare.
The two teams will now collide in a first of the two-match Test series from February 21 onwards. The match will be played at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and the action will commence at 4:00 AM IST. The series-deciding second Test match will then be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch between February 29 and March 4. The Test series will also form a part of the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship.