Wellington: India registered yet another series win after beating New Zealand in the fifth and final ODI at Wellington by 35 runs. The team showed guts and character to come back from a humiliating defeat in the previous match.
India had already won the five-match one day international (ODI) series 3-0, outplaying New Zealand by eight wickets in the first match, 90 runs in the second and seven wickets in the third. However, they lost the fourth ODI in dramatic fashion after being bowled out for 92.
But in the final ODI the Indian middle-order showed confidence and despite the top order not making runs helped India post a respectable score of 252. India’s total was boosted by a brilliant late innings of 45 from 22 balls by Hardik Pandya, which included five sixes — three from consecutive balls from the leg-spinner Todd Astle. Defending under lights, the bowlers bowled well in tandem to stop the Kiwis at 217 and complete a phenomenal turnaround.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said India regarded its loss in Hamilton on Thursday as a humiliation and he chose to bat on winning the toss to challenge India’s batsmen to demonstrate skill against the swinging ball.
India: 252 (49.5)
New Zealand: 217 (44.1)