India beat New Zealand by 90 runs in Indore to win the 3rd ODI. Having already won the series, it enabled the home side to complete the whitewash, and this means that they have now won their last seven successive ODIs.
It also means that they have become the number one ranked ODI side in the world according to the ICC rankings. They had previously been tied on points with both New Zealand and England, but behind the latter on aggregate. This victory lifts them clear at the top.
Although this was another heavy defeat for the Kiwis, they can at least take some solace that they produce a better batting performance than in the first two games, and centurion Devon Conway can take some credit from his performance.
India made two changes from the last match in Rajkot, with Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami giving way to Umran Malik and Yuzvendra Chahal. For New Zealand, Henry Shipley was omitted for Jacob Duffy.
It was New Zealand who won the toss and decided to field first, a decision that was soon called into question as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill put on 212 for the first wicket in a little over 26 overs.
Rohit reached three figures before he was dismissed for 101, scored off 85 balls, and featuring 6 sixes and 9 fours. In the next over, Gill, who had also reached three figures for the third time in four matches, was dismissed for 112. He had faced 78 balls, and had struck 5 sixes and 13 fours.
All the batters after that contrived to keep the scoreboard moving, most prominently Hardik Pandya, who had been out of sorts with the bat recently, but who responded with a half century of his own.
And, with Indore fully living up to its reputation as a bat-friendly pitch, the home side were able to post 385/9 from their 50 overs.
Both Blair Tickner and Duffy took 3 wickets, but they came at considerable cost to their side.
Faced with such an imposing total, it was imperative New Zealand made a good start to their reply, but losing Finn Alley off the second ball of their innings put paid to that.
Fellow opener Devon Conway, for one though, was determined to show what he could do, and with Henry Nicholls, who made 42, and Daryl Mitchell, who contributed 24, they were in touch with the required run rate.
Three quick wickets then derailed things, and, when Conway was out, the back of their resistance had been broken. He had faced exactly 100 balls and scored 138, finishing with 8 sixes and 12 fours against his name.
Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner again contributed useful runs late on, but it was a case of too little too late, and their side was eventually bowled out for 295 in the 42nd over.
Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav both finished with three wickets each, whilst Chahal claimed two. However, this was a match in which the bat held sway over the ball.
Key Talking Points
Gill continues to flourish
Gill is in the middle of a purple patch just now. He has scored a century, a double century, 40 not out and a century in his last four ODI innings and any doubt as to who will open with Rohit Sharma in the World Cup must now have been answered.
And Sharma will also have been glad to get into three figures again, after an indifferent run with the bat.
New Zealand will be disappointed
New Zealand will feel that they failed to do themselves justice in this series, and were disappointing with both bat and ball. There were several fine individual performances – Michael Bracewell in the first game, and Conway in this – but the collective effort was not up to the required standard.
With Trent Boult now having reduced his international commitments and Tim Southee sitting out this tour, they seem toothless in the bowling department, and their batting has been very inconsistent.
What happens next
The two teams will now switch to T20I mode, with a three-match series winch begins on Friday in Ranchi. Lucknow and Ahmedabad will host the other games.
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