Team India defeated New Zealand by 36 runs in the last ODI, thanks to Ambati Rayudu (90), Vijay Shankar (45) and finally the stormy innings of Hardik Pandya (45 off 22 balls). With this, the Indian team has captured the five-match ODI series 4-1.
Excellent win for India! They have bounced back brilliantly after suffering an embarrassing loss in the previous ODI. Earlier it appeared that the script of Hamilton will get repeated here as well when they were 18/4 but this time around, they kept their cool and did well to form partnerships in the middle overs. Efforts of Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav put them in a good position and then Hardik Pandya's cameo powered their score beyond the 250-run mark.
In pursuit, New Zealand lost Henry Nicholls cheaply and after throwing his bat around for a while, Colin Munro's lucky stay in the middle also got over. When Ross Taylor departed, it looked like India will run through their batting order but the pair of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham steadied the ship with a valuable stand. The hosts were well on course after that but the Men in Blue never lost hope. The magic arm of Kedar Jadhav brought them the breakthrough and the Indian bowlers capitalized from thereon. The wickets started to tumble at regular intervals and in spite of the required run rate not too demanding, the lower half didn't show enough patience. James Neesham and Mitchell Santner did try their best but once the former was run out by MS Dhoni, the writing was on the wall.
It was a really professional bowling performance by India. Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were exceptional in Powerplay 1 and created all the pressure. Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar never let the intensity drop in the middle overs and then the spin of Yuzvendra Chahal bamboozled the Kiwis. Kedar Jadhav also played his part and as mentioned earlier, he hunted down the big fish, Kane Williamson. All in all, it was a complete team effort from India and they deservingly take the series 4-1.
Man of the Match, Ambati Rayudu, says it was very tough against a quality bowling attack. Mentions at 18 for 4, he wanted to take his time and focus on not losing wickets. He was more keen on playing out the 50 overs. States the Hamilton performance was a one off game and they proved they are a good enough side here today. Credits the way his bowlers defended the total.