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IND Vs NZ 2021: Rohit Sharma And Co Hammer New Zealand By 73 Runs In 3rd T20I, Complete Series Whitewash

Chasing India’s 184/7, Axar Patel’s three wickets in the powerplay paralysed New Zealand batting line-up. The Kiwis finished at 111 all out in 17.2 overs.

IND Vs NZ 2021: Rohit Sharma And Co Hammer New Zealand By 73 Runs In 3rd T20I, Complete Series Whitewash
India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot enroute to his 31-ball 56 against New Zealand in the third and final T20I at Eden Garden in Kolkata on Sunday. PTI

Rohit Sharma’s (56 off 31 balls) and Axar Patel (3/9) helped India complete a series whitewash as the Men in Blue defeated New Zealand by 73 runs in the third and final T20 International at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.

HIGHLIGHTS | NEWS

India had already won the series with comfortable victories in Jaipur (five wickets) and Ranchi (seven wickets) in the first two matches respectively.

International cricket returned to Eden Gardens after a long gap of three years. India vs New Zealand T20 International today is the first between both sides at this venue in the shortest format. The last time Eden Gardens hosted a T20 International was in 2018 when India defeated West Indies by five wickets.

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In front of a packed Eden Gardens, Rohit Sharma won the toss for the third consecutive time and opted to bat first. Opening the innings, the Mumbai Indians pair of Rohit and Ishan Kishan – who came in place of KL Rahul – started with a bang, hitting the Kiwi bowlers at will.

The right-hand left-hand pair went berserk against the likes of Trent Boult, Adam Milne and Lockie Ferguson as the duo plundered 69 runs in the powerplay including a cumulative 11 hits to the fence and three monstrous sixes from the Hitman.

While Kishan was caught behind by Tim Seifert off Mitchell Santner for 29, Rohit continued his good run in Kolkata by bringing up his 26th half-century in the shortest format with an outside edge that beat the fielder on the short third man. India were well-placed at 90/3 in 10 overs at that time.

However, things slowed down for India once Rohit got out in the 12th over. Both Iyers -- Venkatesh and Shreyas stitched a 39-run stand for the fifth wicket before Deepak Chahar’s eight-ball unbeaten 21, towards the end, propelled the Men in Blue to 184/7 in 20 overs. Santner was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with figures 4-0-27-3.

In reply, New Zealand were tottering at 30/3 in 4.4 overs with Axar Patel spinning the web around the Kiwis dismissing Daryl Mitchell (5), Mark Chapman (0) and Glenn Phillips (0). Continuing his rich form in the series, Martin Guptill held onto one end with a 36-ball 51 studded with four fours and the same number of sixes.

The right-hander didn’t last long as Guptill didn’t get the required elevation only to rest at Suryakumar Yadav’s hand at the long-on boundary off Yuzvendra Chahal. The dismissal of Guptill in the 11th over broke the backbone of the Kiwi batting line-up as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.

Harshal Patel, who impressed everyone with his Man of the Match performance in Ranchi, was once again at his best on Sunday, picking the wickets of James Neesham and Ish Sodhi. Playing just his second international game, the IPL 2021 Purple Cap winner, rolled his fingers quite often foxing the opposition on several instances.

New Zealand finished at 111 all out in 17.2 overs. Harshal (2/26), Chahal (1/26), Venkatesh (1/12) and Chahar (1/26) got wickets for India.

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