MOUNT MAUNGANUI: India slumped to their first whitewash in a One-day International series in 23 years as half-centuries by Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme set up New Zealand’s five-wicket win in the third and final match here on Tuesday.
Guptill’s 66 from 46 balls, which included a 50 from 29 deliveries, gave New Zealand a speedy start in pursuit of India’s 296-7 at the Bay Oval.
Man-of-the-match Nicholls made 80 from 103 balls to add solidity, putting on 106 in an opening stand with Guptill and 53 for the third wicket with the fit-again New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (22), who missed the first two matches with a shoulder injury.
De Grandhomme then finished the chase, hitting his half-century from 21 balls and ending on 58 not out in an unbroken 80-run partnership with Tom Latham (32), which carried New Zealand to 300-5.
Not since 1997 — in a 3-0 defeat against Sri Lanka — had India been swept in a bilateral ODI series containing three or more matches and the only time it has ever happened against New Zealand.
New Zealand, meanwhile, bounced back from their own 5-0 loss to India in the preceding Twenty20 International series. The hosts began to lose their way in the middle of the innings, quickly losing Williamson, man-of-the-series Ross Taylor (12) and Jimmy Neesham (19), slumping to 220-5 in the 40th over.
Wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took 3-47 from his 10 overs as India managed to squeeze New Zealand between the 30th and 40th overs.
But Latham and de Grandhomme patiently batted New Zealand within sight of victory, then burly all-rounder de Grandhomme was able to hit out with three sixes and six fours to lift New Zealand to victory with 17 balls to spare.
“An outstanding performance, very clinical,” Williamson said. “India put us under pressure in every game in the series. They managed to do that again in the first half but the way the guys fought back with the ball and perhaps kept India to a par total on that surface, and the cricket smarts in the second half, was outstanding.”
Earlier, K.L. Rahul posted his fourth ODI century and shared two century partnerships to anchor India’s innings after they were sent in on losing the toss.
Rahul built the innings in partnerships of exactly 100 for the fourth wicket with Shreyas Iyer (62) and 107 for the fifth with Manish Pandey (42).
India looked set for a total well in excess of 300 when they were 161-3 after 30 overs. But the tourists didn’t finish as strongly as they should have, adding only 49 for the loss of three wickets in the last 10 overs.
Rahul reached his fourth ODI century from 104 balls and was out with the total 269-5 in the 47th over.
He was supported by a gritty 62 from Shreyas Iyer but most of India’s batters failed to live up to Kohli’s pre-match exhortation to play positively and post a big total.
Prithvi Shaw and Manish Pandey both reached the 40s but no other batters made double figures, with Kohli out for nine.
With the ball, only Chahal was able to impose concerted pressure on the New Zealand batsmen. He began by bowling Guptill with a classic leg break which pitched on leg, beat the bat and hit off stump.
India’s key bowler, Jasprit Bumrah went without a wicket in the series while finishing with 0-167 from 30 overs.
“The games were not as clear-cut as the scoreline suggests,” Kohli said. “It boils down to those chances we didn’t grab. All three games, I thought the way we fielded and our composure with the ball I don’t think was enough to win games of cricket at international level.”
A frustrated Kohli, who admonished his players for poor fielding several times during the match, said it was a fair result.
“We didn’t deserve to be on the winning side at all in the series,” he said. “We haven’t played so badly, but if you don’t grab chances at this level then teams are going to hurt you. We didn’t show enough composure under pressure. New Zealand did.”
The focus now turns to Test cricket, with the first of two five-day matches scheduled to begin in Wellington on Feb 21. The results of both matches will count toward the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, in which India are runaway leaders at the top of the ladder.
Kohli said he wanted India to display an improved mentality during the Tests.
“I’m very, very excited because of the championship every match has that much more importance and we have a really good, balanced team in Test cricket,” he said.
“We definitely feel we can win the series here but we obviously need to step onto the park with the right kind of mindset.”
P.P. Shaw run out 40
M.A. Agarwal b Jamieson 1
V. Kohli c Jamieson b Bennett 9
S.S. Iyer c de Grandhomme b Neesham 62
K.L. Rahul c Jamieson b Bennett 112
M.K. Pandey c Santner b Bennett 42
S.N. Thakur c de Grandhomme b Bennett 7
R.A. Jadeja not out 8
N.A. Saini not out 8
EXTRAS (B-1, W-6) 7
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 50 overs) 296
FALL OF WKTS: 1-8, 2-32, 3-62, 4-162, 5-269, 6-269, 7-280.
DID NOT BAT: Y.S. Chahal, J.J. Bumrah.
BOWLING: Southee 9-0-59-0 (3w); Jamieson 10-0-53-1 (1w); Bennett 10-1-64-4 (1w); de Grandhomme 3-0-10-0; Neesham 8-0-50-1; Santner 10-0-59-0 (1w).
M.J. Guptill b Chahal 66
H.M. Nicholls C Rahul b Thakur 80
K.S. Williamson c Agarwal B Chahal 22
L.R.P.L. Taylor c Kohli b Jadeja 12
T.W.M, Latham not out 32
J.D.S. Neesham c Kohli b Chahal 19
C. de Grandhomme not out 58
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-2, W-6, NB-2) 11
TOTAL (for five wkts, 47.1 overs) 300
FALL OF WKTS: 1-106, 2-159, 3-186, 4-189, 5-220.
DID NOT BAT: M.J. Santner, K.A. Jamieson, T.G. Southee, H.K. Bennett.
BOWLING: Bumrah 10-0-50-0; Saini 8-0-68-0 (2nb, 2w); Chahal 10-1-47-3; Thakur 9.1-0-87-1 (4w); Jadeja 10-0-45-1.
RESULT: New Zealand won by five wickets to win three-match series 3-0.
UMPIRES: C.M. Brown (New Zealand) and L. Rusere (Zimbabwe).
TV UMPIRE: B.N.J. Oxenford (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: B.C. Broad (England).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Henry Nicholls.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Ross Taylor.
FIRST MATCH: Hamilton, New Zealand won by four wickets.
SECOND MATCH: Auckland, New Zealand won by 22 runs.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2020