Hamilton: New Zealand denied India a perfect finish to their highly successful tour Down Under by clinching the T20I series 2-1 with a four-run win in the third and final match at Hamilton on Sunday.
India savoured a historic Test and ODI bilateral series win in Australia before recording their biggest ODI series win on New Zealand soil.
A first-ever T20 series win would have been icing on the cake but the hosts held their nerves to pull off a thrilling victory. With Sunday's result, India have lost their first T20 series after winning nine and drawing one.
India needed to knock off a stiff 213-run target to bring curtains on a memorable three-month tour in a befitting manner but fell just short.
Exploiting batting-friendly conditions at the small Seddon Park ground, New Zealand cut the Indian attack to shreds to post an imposing 212 for four. Opener Colin Munro produced a 40-ball 72 and shared a 80-run stand with fellow opener Tim Seifert (43) to lay the foundation for a big score.
India needed 16 runs off the final over and Dinesh Karthik (33 not out off 16) after taking a double off the first ball, stunned the crowd and his teammates by refusing to take a single in the third ball. Krunal (26 not out off 30) had reached the striker's end but Karthik did not run, sending his partner back.
This was after umpire did not give a clear wide bowled by Tim Southee.
Karthik could only manage a single off the next ball as Southee bowled a straight ball. By then, the match had clearly slipped out of India's hands. Both Karthik and Krunal did exceedingly well to take the game into the final over but their unbeaten 63-run stand off 28 balls did not prove to be enough.
News Courtesy: outlookIndia