India got the better of New Zealand by six runs in the rain-affected third T20I in Thiruvananthapuram to win the series 2-1.
The match was curtailed to 8 overs a side after the delayed start. Batting first, India scored 67/5 in eight overs with Manish Pandey (17) being the top-scorer. In reply, New Zealand could manage 61/6 in eight overs.
The Blackcaps needed 19 runs to win from the last over, when India captain Virat Kohli handed the ball to Hardik Pandya.
It was Pandya’s first over of the match, but the medium-pacer made sure that India ends up as the victorious side.
He kept it down to 12 runs in the final over and thus India won by six runs.
Meanwhile, at the post-match press conference, Virat revealed what Pandya told him in the middle of the final over.
“Obviously it was important to give him confidence. I tried to go to him after three balls (in the final over), but he said ‘mein daal dunga, aap tension mat lo’. As a captain, if you get that confidence from a bowler, then you don’t have to worry or tell him much,” Kohli said.
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Kohli also said that our idea was to save enough runs for the final over and that’s why Jasprit Bumrah was given the ball to bowl the penultimate over.
“68 (to win) was a challenging total. We wanted our best bowlers to bowl first (so that) in the end we had enough runs to defend. We had confidence in Hardik; his off-cutters are very effective. The wicket was damp and the ball was sticking into it. He executed well,” Kohli added.