New Zealand had been going strong since the beginning of the 3-match ODI series. With 2 games already registered under their name, they had the series to themselves and in the third game were eyeing a whitewash. Riding on Nicholls’ 80 off 103 balls and Bennett’s figures of 4/64, the Blackcaps won the final ODI as well, breaking a 31-year-old record.
Team India was last whitewashed in a bilateral ODI series of 3 or more matches by West Indies, back in the year 1989. The Caribbean Giants defeated team India 5-0.
The game started with New Zealand winning the toss and opting to bowl first. Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal opened for the Men in Blue, but Mayank Agarwal’s stay at the crease was short as he was sent back to the pavilion with a mere score of 1 in the second over of the inning. Virat too had an off day as he wrapped his inning with just 9 runs.
Prithvi Shaw’s show too came to an end when he was made to find his way back to the pavilion with 40-runs in hand. It was then, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer who came to the rescue of team India with their amazing knocks of 112 & 62 respectively. Manish Pandey too contributed for his part, adding 42 runs to the total. Together, team India put up 296 on the board at the end of their share of 50 overs.
The hosts looked all in form as openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls started hitting big right away. Guptill’s knock of 66 runs included 6 fours and 4 sixes whereas Nicholls’ 80 comprised of 9 fours. They gave a refreshing start to their team, laying the foundations of the team’s victory.
However, with Chahal's 3/47 figures, the ball looked in India’s court, and the fans felt they will pick a save from embarrassment. However, Colin de Grandhomme had something else in store for the visitors. Joining Tom Latham on the field as five-down, the player turned tables with his fierce knock of 58 off 28.
With this victory, the kiwis managed to equalize scores at 1-1 after they were given a hard time during the T20I series. Henry Nicholls was adjudged Player of the Match while Ross Taylor bagged the Player of the Series title.
The two teams will be meeting each other February 21 for the 1 match of the 2-game Test series. The first test will be played during Feb 21- Feb 26 at the Basin Reserve, Wellington. With the scores levelled, it will be interesting to see who will turn out as Champion in the Tests.