Bumrah leads India to series win after Rohit, Kohli tons


Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s dominating hundreds followed by clever bowling from Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah helped India clinch the see-saw third ODI by six runs, giving the hosts a seventh successive bilateral series win, at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Sunday (October 29).

The Indian captain and his deputy put on a record-breaking second-wicket partnership worth 230 runs to propel the hosts to a challenging 337 for 6 in their 50 overs and economical bowling from Chahal and Bumrah kept the visitors to only 331 in response.

Set to chase 338 for their maiden series win on Indian soil, New Zealand were powered by half-centuries from Colin Munro, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham but failed to sustain the momentum after losing key wickets at crucial junctures.

Munro and Williamson struck form to lay the platform with a century stand. Bhvuneshwar Kumar began the proceedings for India with an over the hosts would rather forget. Munro made his intentions clear from the word go as he flicked a length delivery high and sailing over mid-wicket rope to get off the mark. The left-handed opener followed it up with a couple of boundaries, much to Bhuvneshwar’s disappointment. And if that wasn’t enough, unnecessary aggression from Kohli gifted him four bonus runs in the form of overthrows to cap off a costly first over.

While Bhuvneshwar struggled at one end, Bumrah was impressive in his opening burst before being made to switch ends with the senior bowler. He handed Martin Guptill his third successive failure, becoming the second quickest Indian to 50 ODI wickets. Williamson eased in with a 11-run over off Hardik Pandya, punishing him for the looseners with a couple of hits to the fence.

Change of ends brought no respite for Bhuvneshwar who was dispatched for a very similar six over the mid-wicket fence by Munro. Having leaked 51 off his first five overs, Bhuvneshwar was replaced by spinner Axar Patel.

Munro and Williamson continued to find boundaries off Kedar Jadhav at will, bringing up their respective maiden fifties of the series in the 109-run stand for the second wicket. Chahal, though, built the pressure from one end by stemming the flow of runs in his extended eight-over spell that resulted in the wickets of both the well-set batsman in quick succession.

Munro departed trying one slog too many, completely missing his shot off a tossed up delivery that sneaked through the gap and crashed into the furniture. New Zealand had added only 15 more to their total when Williamson’s downfall came off a rather uncharacteristic shot. The captain attempted a sweep only to give a thick top-edge trying to fetch the ball far wide outside off.

That brought together Latham and Taylor – New Zealand’s heroes from Mumbai. The pair combined for a 79-run stand that yet again threatened to take the game away from India. Pandya proved expensive his middle-overs spell, allowing the Latham-Taylor pair to stitch the chase back together. However, Bumrah’s fine spell revived India’s chances once again. The pressure mounted as the asking rate shot over nine for the final ten overs, and to make matters worse, Bumrah capped off a brilliant spell with the wicket of Taylor.

Latham’s brought up his half-century in the company of Henry Nicholls, who once again pepped up New Zealand’s chances with an entertaining cameo of 37 off 24 balls. At the receiving ends were Chahal, who leaked 12 and yet finished with respectable figures of 2 for 47, and Pandya, who leaked 47 in his five overs.

Bhuvneshwar redeemed himself in the final moments with a perfect yorker that rattled Nicholls’s leg pole and swung the game back in India’s favour. Five balls later as Latham was run out after a terrible mix up with Colin de Grandhomme in the 48th over, the game slipped out of New Zealand’s grasp for good.

India’s series-clinching total was set up by Rohit and Kohli earlier in the day. Asked to bat first in Kanpur’s maiden day-night ODI, the opener overcame his lean patch to post his 15th ODI hundred and was well complemented by the captain, who notched up his 32nd.

The duo wore out the New Zealand bowlers and fielders alike with their clean hitting and piled on many records. New Zealand staged a comeback with five wickets in death overs that halted India’s surge towards the end but didn’t have a match-altering impact.

The hosts’ cautious start was due to some tight bowling from Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and Shikhar Dhawan’s early wicket. The breakthrough from Southee, however, did little to deter Rohit, or Kohli.


Rohit looked in ominous touch from the onset, and for a brief while after Dhawan’s dismissal, reduced Kohli to the background. He hit 18 fours and a couple of sixes – becoming the second quickest to 150 sixes after Shahid Afridi – in his brutal, 138-ball knock to deflate the tourists’ bowlers. Kohli became the first man to breach the 2000-run mark across formats in 2017, went past Ricky Ponting’s tally of 1424 for most ODI runs by a captain in a calendar year and, soon after, became the quickest to 9000 runs in the format, surpassing AB de Villiers’ record of 205 innings by nine. The only chance Kohli offered in his 106-ball knock was a thick outside edge that evaded even a full-length dive from wicketkeeper Latham.

While Rohit did most of his scoring with the big hits, Kohli rotated the strike very well. But neither let their strike rate drop out of 90s for very long. The pair rewrote the record for the highest second-wicket stand at Kanpur, going past the 149 the former put on with Ajinkya Rahane in 2015.

Boult was brought back for short bursts at multiple occasions but the left-armer failed to penetrate. On the contrary, he leaked far too many runs for New Zealand’s liking. He gave away 81 in his quota of overs, the costliest of which was immediately after the second drinks break.

Santner and Adam Milne led the way with a couple of wickets apiece as New Zealand pulled things back in style in the final nine overs that did not allow the hosts the kind of finish Rohit and Kohli had set them up for. Rohit fell on 147 after miscuing a lofted shot straight down Southee’s throat at long-off. Shortly afterwards, Southee added Kohli’s wicket to his tally with a slower one that the Indian captain chipped straight to long-off fielder when on 113.

Brief scores: 

India 337/6 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 147, Virat Kohli 113; Mitchell Santner 2-58, Adam Milne 2-64) beat 

New Zealand 331/7 in 50 overs (Colin Munro 75, Tom Latham 65, Kane Williamson 64; Jasprit Bumrah 3-47, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-47) by 6 runs.