Colin Munro’s ninth fifty had boosted New Zealand to 212/4 in the deciding Twenty20 International at Hamilton on Sunday, the second-time they had scored 200 in the three-match series. Krunal Pandya and Dinesh Karthik struck some big blows but in the end, India lost the Hamilton match by four runs to lose the three-match series 2-1. For India, it was a continuation of their horror show in the shortest format against New Zealand who has beaten them in eight out of 11 matches. Speaking after the end of the match, Rohit said the team made a few mistakes but chasing such a big total was always going to be difficult.
“Disappointing to not cross the line but we fought well right till the end. 210 odd (213 target) was always going to be tough, but we were in it till the end. They held their nerve and kept hitting their yorkers,” Rohit said in the post-match presentation.
India kept losing wickets at regular intervals in their chase. Vijay Shankar and Rohit strung a solid stand after Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed cheaply. Hardik Pandya and Rohit both fell in quick succession and there was plenty to do for Krunal and Karthik as they just failed to cross the line. However, despite the series loss, India still had a memorable tour of New Zealand by winning the ODI series for the first time in 10 years.
“Still lot of positives, we started well with the ODIs, wanted to do well here but the boys throughout the tour were excellent, put in a lot of hard work. They will be disappointed tonight but we've to learn from the mistakes we made and move ahead,” Rohit said.
Munro, who finally came to form with a blazing 72 which won him the Man of the Match award, said New Zealand were on their toes for the entire game as the Indian batting had depth and power. “It was touch and go there until the final minute. India - you get one good batsman, another one comes along. The boys did a really good job of finishing off the really good Indian batsmen. I didn't really focus on trying to do anything different, tried to put pressure back on the bowlers. Just came out nice and free, had a bit of luck, which you certainly need in this match,” Munro said.
New Zealand will now play Bangladesh in three ODIs while India will play Australia at home for two Twenty20 Internationals and five ODIs which will be their last international assignment before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be played in England from may 31.