Twitter reacts as India fell short of New Zealand's massive total by just 4 runs
India won the toss and asked the home team to bat first in the third T20I at Hamilton. While India replaced Yuzvendra Chahal with Kuldeep Yadav, the Kiwis handed over a debut cap to Blair Tickner as they rested Lockie Ferguson.
It took a lightning fast stumping by MS Dhoni off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav to break the partnership. The New Zealand wicket-keeper stepped out of the crease but got beaten on the outside edge by the wrong one . The stumping grabbed a lot of attention not only for Dhoni's insane reaction time of 0.099 seconds but also for the third umpire's decision in favour of India in spite of it being a close call.
Seifert's dismissal did not reduce the momentum of the New Zealand innings as Munro added another half-century partnership with Kane Williamson. After Munro got out for a 40-ball 72, it was Colin de Grandhomme that took the attack to the Indian bowlers by scoring 30 off just 16 balls.
Grandhomme got out with 10 balls to spare but the final push by Ross Taylor and Daryll Mitchell helped New Zealand post a total of 212 in 20 overs. While the rest of the Indian bowlers had to face the brunt of the Kiwi batsmen, Kuldeep Yadav bowled his four overs outstandingly at an economy rate of 6.50 in addition to picking up two wickets.
India did not get the anticipated start to their chase as they lost Shikhar Dhawan in the very first over. After losing his opening partner, Rohit Sharma built a crucial partnership with Vijay Shankar. For the second wicket, the two right-handed batsmen added 75 runs in less than 7 overs. In the ninth over, Vijay Shankar got out in an attempt to up the ante after scoring 43 runs off 28 balls.
What followed next were two short but exhilarating innings by Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya. While the southpaw started off his innings with a boundary and two sixes, Pandya too hit a six off his very first ball.
In his short stay of 12 balls, Pant managed to score 28 runs but was dismissed off a full toss by debutant Tickner. Pandya, on the other hand, mishit a delivery by Scott Kuggeleijn and got dismissed for 21 off 11 balls. In between these two dismissals, the Kiwis also got the wicket of a settled Rohit Sharma to tilt the odds in their favour.
With India needing 68 runs off the last five overs, MS Dhoni tried clearing the boundary ropes but ended up holing one to Tim Southee. With the scoreboard pressure mounting, the two batsmen next, Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya did their best as they scored 18 and 14 runs off the eighteenth and the nineteenth overs respectively.
India needed 16 runs off the final over but an experienced Tim Southee conceded just 11 runs and helped his side win the series 2-1. Even the 200 plus strike rates of Karthik and Krunal could not help India win the match.
On the third ball of the final over, Karthik denied a single and later ended up taking a single off the next ball. The denied single by Karthik also attracted a lot of traction on Twitter but one has to agree that he did his best to take India to their first T20I series win against New Zealand.
Here's how Twitter reacted to India series loss to New Zealand: