Devon Conway struck a superb 138 off 100 balls in the third ODI against India in Indore on Tuesday, January 24. However, it was not enough to prevent the Men in Blue from clinching a comprehensive 90-run triumph. With the win, India completed a 3-0 whitewash of the Kiwis and also moved to No. 1 in the ICC ODI rankings.
New Zealand asked India to bat first after winning the toss. Hundreds from Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, however, saw the hosts post an imposing 385/9 as Kiwi pacer Jacob Duffy conceded 100 runs in his 10 overs, despite claiming three wickets. New Zealand were bowled out for 295 in 41.2 overs as Shardul Thakur (3/45) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/62) claimed key wickets.
Chasing 386, New Zealand lost Finn Allen for a duck as he inside-edged a shortish delivery from Hardik Pandya back onto the stumps in the first over. Conway and Henry Nicholls, however, thwarted India with a second-wicket stand of 106. Conway looked in good form from the start, hitting Washington Sundar for two fours in the fourth over. In the next over, Nicholls whacked Thakur for a four and six.
Conway was in imperious form. He carted Umran Malik for four and six in his first over and went on to reach his fifty by slog-sweeping Sundar for a maximum. Looking to break the stand, Rohit Sharma turned to Kuldeep and the wrist-spinner delivered, trapping Nicholls lbw for 42 with a delivery of a flatter trajectory that the Kiwi left-hander failed to read.
Conway, however, carried on and raced to a 71-ball hundred with back-to-back sixes off leggie Yuzvendra Chahal at the start of the 24th over. Thanks to the Kiwi opener's heroics, New Zealand were in the hunt at 184/2 at the halfway stage of their innings.
Thakur’s triple strike, however, put India on top in the contest. He dismissed Daryl Mitchell (24) and Tom Latham (0) off consecutive deliveries at the start of the 26th over. Mitchell was caught behind as he gloved a bouncer. India needed a review to get the decision their way. Latham chipped the next delivery, a dipping full-toss, to mid-off.
Thakur had a third when Glenn Phillips (five) miscued a short-of-length delivery straight up in the air and Virat Kohli pouched the catch safely, coming in from midwicket. Conway kept going after the bowling before he perished to Umran in the 32nd over. The centurion was caught off-guard by a short ball that did not bounce as much as he expected. In the end, Conway awkwardly pulled the delivery to midwicket.
Michael Bracewell looked good again for his 26, but he was stumped down leg off Kuldeep, who smartly outfoxed the batter after he charged down the track. The lower order couldn’t contribute much and the end came when Mitchell Santner (34) was caught at deep midwicket off Chahal.
Rohit, Gill hammer centuries as Team India post 385
Rohit and Gill struck hundreds as India put up 385/9 after losing the toss and being asked to bat first. The duo added 212 for the opening wicket in just 26.1 overs. Courtesy of the mega stand, Rohit brought up his first ODI century in 1100 days and his 30th overall in the format. Gill, meanwhile, reached his third hundred in his last four ODI innings, which also includes a double ton.
On an absolute belter of a pitch in Indore, Rohit and Gill featured in a commanding double hundred partnerships. While the Indian captain slammed nine fours and six sixes in his 85-ball 101, his young opening partner contributed 112 off 78 balls, whacking 13 fours and five maximums.
The brilliant stand put India in command before Rohit perished at the start of the 27th over. He was bowled by Bracewell, trying to slog the off-spinner. The Indian captain’s dismissal led to a flurry of wickets. Gill miscued Blair Tickner to point, while Ishan Kishan (17) was run-out following a terrible mix-up with Kohli. Both batters ended up at the keeper’s end, but Kishan had to walk back.
Kohli (36), himself, did not last long as he was caught off Duffy’s bowling at wide mid-off. Suryakumar Yadav (14) experienced another one-day failure as he holed out after hitting a couple of sixes. Sundar’s dismissal for 9 reduced India to 313 for six.
Pandya (54 off 38) and Thakur (25 off 17) then added a crucial 54 for the seventh wicket to lift India. All-rounder Pandya struck three fours and as many sixes before perishing in the penultimate over. His fine innings ensured Team India got close to 390.
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