Not for the first time in the series. a dramatic New Zealand collapse in which six wickets fell for 25 runs gave India a seven-run win in the fifth and final Twenty20 international at Mount Maunganui on Sunday to sweep the series.
Jasprit Bumrah led the rout to finish with the impressive figures of 3/12 off his four overs.
India became the first team to win all the matches in a five-match bilateral T20I series.
New Zealand had looked on track to get a consolation win with senior batsman Ross Taylor, celebrating his 100th Twenty20 international, leading the chase to reel in India’s 163/3.
Taylor made 53 and Tim Seifert an even 50 as they put on 99 for the fourth wicket. During their partnership, Shivam Dube was hit for 34 runs in one over to bring the required rate down considerably: from 100 needed off 66 balls, it became 66 needed off the last 10 overs. It felt like a definitive momentum shift in favour of the hosts.
With 45 balls remaining, New Zealand were 116/3 and needed 48 to win, but when Seifert went for 50 India reasserted their dominance.
By the start of the last over New Zealand had been reduced to nine for 143 and although Ish Sodhi belted two sixes India retained control.
The tourists’ celebrations however were mixed with concern for Rohit Sharma who was unbeaten on 60 when he was forced to retire hurt with a calf injury. KL Rahul was the stand-in skipper when India took the field, with Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson looking on from the sidelines (an image that also went viral as you will see below).
New Zealand made a disastrous start to their run chase losing three for 17 off the first 20 deliveries. But Taylor and Seifert set about restoring the innings and when they smacked 34 off Shivam Dube in the 10th over – with two sixes and a four each, plus a single for Seifert and an extra run from a no ball – the momentum was firmly in New Zealand’s favour.
But Seifert’s dismissal triggered a collapse that New Zealand could not recover from.
The teams start the first of a three-match one-day international series in Hamilton on Wednesday.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the series win:
(With inputs from AFP)