Kiwis clinch thriller to pocket T20 cricket series against India
Sports Scene

It was a befitting finale to a series that saw two Twenty20 powerhouses battling for supremacy as the deciding T20 game between India and New Zealand in the third and final match of the series went down to the wire at Hamilton, New Zealand. 

The nerve-jangling final over eventually saw Kiwi speedster Tim Southee clipping the wings of the hard-hitting Indian batsmen to ensure a 4-run win for the home side at Seddon Park on Sunday.

New Zealand, put into bat first by Indian stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma, piled up a mammoth total of 212 for 4 in their allocated 20 overs. 

New Zealand's Colin Munro swings to leg as wicketkeeper MS Dhoni looks on during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Hamilton, New Zealand, February 10, 2019. /VCG Photo

New Zealand's Colin Munro swings to leg as wicketkeeper MS Dhoni looks on during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Hamilton, New Zealand, February 10, 2019. /VCG Photo

Opener Colin Munro led the onslaught with a power-packed 72 off 40 balls while his opening partner and wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert's blistering 43 off 25 balls and Colin de Grandhomme's 16-ball 30 contributed to a run fest against listless Indian bowling.

Sharma spearheaded the Indian chase with Vijay Shankar as the duo put together a 75-run partnership for the second wicket. Sharma perished for 38 and Shankar played struck 43 runs off just 28 balls. 

Indian wickets kept tumbling on a regular basis but Krunal Pandya and Dinesh Karthik almost turned the tide in India's favor with some powerful hitting around the park. When the equation came down to a gettable 16 off the final over, Southee's clever bowling stopped Karthik and Pandya from taking the match away.

New Zealand's Tim Southee gestures during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Hamilton, New Zealand, February 10, 2019. /VCG Photo

New Zealand's Tim Southee gestures during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Hamilton, New Zealand, February 10, 2019. /VCG Photo

Karthik wasting of a dot ball and his bizarre decision not to take a run in the final over turned out to be a game changer as the Black Caps turned the screw. Even though the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman hit a six in the last ball of the innings, his side fell 4 runs short as Kane Williamson's team won the three-match series 2-1. Karthik remained unbeaten for 33 off 16 balls while Pandya was on 26 off just 13 balls.

Munro was adjudged the Player of the Match and Seifert was named the Player of the Series.