Black Caps fall agonisingly short as Rohit and Kohli inspire series win
New Zealand dramatically squandered the chance to claim a first one-day international series win in India, losing by six runs in Kanpur after they had looked set to pull off a huge run chase following centuries from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Kohli (113 from 106) became the fastest man to 9,000 ODI runs, in only his 194th innings, and Rohit made a magnificent 147 off just 138 balls as the duo shared a second-wicket stand of 230 on Sunday.
The tourists needed to pull off their third-highest run chase to win the series after India posted a mammoth 337-6, but were well on course courtesy of half-centuries from Colin Munro (75), Kane Williamson (64) and Tom Latham.
Latham scored a century in the first ODI as India chased down 280 to win and looked set to be the hero once again, but he was run out after making a 52-ball 65 and Jasprit Bumrah (3-47) played a decisive role at the death as the Black Caps suffered a 2-1 series loss.
Rohit had failed in his previous four knocks, but returned to form in style, treating an expectant crowd to some delightful strokes on both sides of the wicket with Kohli content to tick along at the other end.
The opener struck Adam Milne and Mitchell Santner over the ropes, taking just 106 deliveries to bring up his ton, and Kohli passed the 9.000-run mark as he shifted through the gears with an array of classy shots.
Kohli raised his bat after making a 32nd ODI century off only 96 deliveries, but Santner (2-58) ended Rohit's wonderful innings off the following ball and late wickets for New Zealand ensured India managed only 85 from their last 10 overs.
Munro was in no mood to play himself in when the Black Caps started their run chase, smashing his first ball for six off the expensive Bhuvneshwar Kumar and hitting the next three deliveries to the boundary as the first over of the innings went for 19.
The powerful left-hander brought up his half-century off only 38 balls and Williamson found the boundary with apparent ease after Martin Guptill became Bumrah's 50th ODI victim, the skipper scoring at a run a ball to reach his 50.
Munro lofted Kedar Jadhav for his third six but was bowled to end a stand of 109 after missing a flighted Yuzvendra Chahal delivery in the next over and the same bowler had Williamson caught behind to leave New Zealand 168-3 in the 29th over.
Ross Taylor (39) made a start before Bumrah struck again, but the in-form Latham looked very much at home, sweeping with control and punching the ball with authority into the off side as he raced to a half-century in only 37 balls.
New Zealand needed 91 off the final 10 overs, but Bhuvneshwar redeemed himself by cleaning up Henry Nicholls (37 from 24) before Latham's brilliant knock was needlessly ended following a mix-up, with Colin de Grandhomme failing to get his eye in as Bumrah shone.