Rohit Sharma scored his first ODI hundred in three years, while Shubman Gill continued his domination with another sublime ton as India completed a clean sweep with a 90-run victory over New Zealand in the third match at Indore on Tuesday. Batters from both sides lit up the dead rubber as 680 runs were scored at Holkar Stadium. Rohit (101 from 85 balls) reached the triple-figure mark for the first time since January 2020, while Gill (112 from 78) scored his fourth ODI hundred to take India to 385 for nine.
After two failures, the New Zealand top class put on a much better show. Devon Conway (138) bonded vital partnerships but Shardul Thakur (3/45) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/62) struck regularly to knock out the Balck Caps for 295 in 41.2 overs.
It was India’s second consecutive clean sweep after beating Sri Lanka last week.
After Hardik Pandya (1/37) knocked out Finn Allen (0), Conway shared 106 runs with Henry Nicholls and 78 runs with Daryl Mitchell (24).
In the absence of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, the Indian bowlers initially struggled, leaking runs as Conway tonked the ball throughout the park.
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Shardul managed to turn the game around though, as he took back-to-back wickets from Mitchell and Tom Latham (0) in the 26th over.
On his next lap, Thakur sent Glenn Phillips (5) packing with a cross delivery.
Umran Malik (1/52) then got Conway as the centurion fumbled while Rohit did the rest at midwicket as the match appeared to be slipping out of New Zealand’s grasp.
The spinning duo of Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) then cleared the tail.
Earlier, Rohit and Gill posted a combative opening score of 212 runs, sharing 22 fours and 11 sixes.
Rahul Dravid joked on the eve of the match that bowlers don’t want to bowl as soon as they land in Indore because of the batsman-friendly conditions. The batsman had a point, and the New Zealanders who rolled over their arms during the first 25 overs would have shared Dravid’s sentiment.
At one point, every ball that touched Rohit and Gill’s bat flew to the boundary or over it.
Gill hit four fours and a six to plunder 22 runs off Lockie Ferguson in the eighth over, symbolizing the form the 23-year-old has been in lately.
The youngster didn’t even have to time the ball to run for the boundary. After three fours, he launched the short ball for an upper-cut six.
With the outfield fast and the wicket flat, the rather inexperienced New Zealand bowling unit had no answers to the carnage of the Indian openers.
The 26th over saw both Rohit and Gill get their centuries. Rohit pulled away to deep square to get his mark and three balls later Gill reached the triple-digit mark, his third in four innings.
New Zealand skipper Tom Latham used a whopping six bowlers and it was his sixth option — spinner Michael Bracewell — that gave the tourists their first breakthrough.
Rohit tried to slog one out of the park but missed the ball while staying low and turned to finally hit the stumps. His wicket was met with a roar from the partisan crowd, who welcomed Virat Kohli (36).
A wrong shot in the next over ended Gill’s innings as New Zealand struck twice in quick succession.
Ishan Kishan (17) didn’t look too comfortable and took nine balls to open his account. A yes-no with Kohli, who had sprinted halfway, marked the end of the wicket-keeper-batter’s stay in the centre.
New Zealand were able to bring down the bounds and sixes and, looking for a big shot, Kohli couldn’t beat Finn Allen at the halfway mark.
Firmly on track to score over 400, India endured a well-known mid-order collapse, before Hardik Pandya (54 from 38 balls) brought the final flourish.
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