Double tons from Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli coupled with a spirited bowling performance by paceman Jasprit Bumrah saw the Men in Blue produce a clinical performance under pressure to beat the Black Caps by 6 runs in the third and final ODI match at Kanpur. This win upholds India's 100% home record against the Kiwis, winning all six bilateral series in ODIs since 1988. Virat also became the first Indian captain to win seven successive bilateral series in ODIs.
The highlight of the first innings was undoubtedly the record breaking 230-run second wicket stand involving Rohit Sharma (147 off 138 balls) and Virat Kohli (113 off 106 balls). They became the first pair in ODIs to record four double-century stands between them. While Rohit smashed his fifth century for the year - the most hit by him in a calendar year, Kohli reached a milestone of 9000 ODI runs - the quickest in ODIs by any player.
In addition, Kohli's tally of 1460 (ave.76.84) in 26 matches this year is the highest by any captain in a calendar year in ODIs, annihilating Ricky Ponting's tally of 1424 (ave.79.11) in 27 matches in 2007. Kohli's prolific form in the series also helped him reclaim the top position in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen from AB de Villiers. Kohli's two centuries in three matches, helped him reach 889 rating points, the best for an Indian batsman, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar's highest career rating of 887.
The partnership fired India to a massive total of 337/6 after being put in to bat first. Although the target was imposing, New Zealand fought back through Colin Munro (75 off 62), Kane Williamson (64 off 84) and Tom Latham (65 off 52). While the visitors looked like the favourites with 35 runs required from the last 24 balls, they fell short by 6 runs in the end, credited to excellent death bowling by Jasprit Bumrah (3/47). Bumrah took his tally of wickets to 52 in 28 ODIs at an average of 22.28 with a strike rate of 28. His feat of reaching 50 wickets is the second quickest by an Indian bowler, next only to Ajit Agarkar's 23. Bumrah's performance in the series saw him climb up three places to third in the ICC rankings, behind Pakistan's Hasan Ali and South Africa's Imran Tahir.
The action now shifts to the three Twenty20 internationals starting November 1 in New Delhi.
In other cricket news around the world, South Africa and Pakistan completed a T20I whitewash over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka respectively. After a dominant performance in the Tests and ODIs, the Proteas ran riot in the two T20 internationals as well. While the Tigers put up a spirited fight in the first T20, they crumbled to a David Miller onslaught in the second. Miller got his name into the history books by smashing the fastest ever ton in T20I history. His century came off just 35 balls - 10 balls quicker than the previous best - with 9 sixes and 7 fours. He also came very close to matching Yuvraj Singh's 6 sixes in a single over as he plundered Mohammad Saifuddin for 31 runs in the 19th over of the innings.
In the Middle East, Pakistan inflicted more pain on the Sri Lankans as the home team continued their dominance in the shortest format of the game. After registering a clean-sweep in the five-match ODI series, Pakistan clean-swept the 3-match T20I series as well. The first two matches, which Pakistan won by seven and two wickets respectively, were played in Abu Dhabi before Sri Lanka returned to Lahore to play the third and final match. While Pakistan won the match comfortably, Sri Lanka's return to Lahore, eight years after the terror attack on their team bus in the city, represented a historic and potentially game-changing moment for Pakistan cricket. While a visit by other top teams in the near future is not guaranteed, the move may increase the probability of international teams visiting Pakistan in the long term.
Coming back to the match, Pakistan piled up 180-3 in their 20 overs after the visitors won the toss and opted to field first. Shoaib Malik smashed 51 of 24 balls with five boundaries and two sixes. Babar Azam (34*), Umar Amin (45) and Fakhar Zaman (31) were the other contributors. In reply, the Lankans lost early wickets and managed to score 144 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Dasun Shanaka was the only Lankan batsmen who showed aggression, scoring 54 of 36 balls with five boundaries and three sixes. Pace bowler Mohammad Amir finished with career best figures of 4/13.
Elsewhere, the Windies claimed a 117-run win against Zimbabwe in the first test match in Bulawayo. Legspinner Devendra Bishoo was the unlikely hero for a West Indies bowling attack traditionally dominated by pace. Bishoo followed up his 5/79 in the first innings with figures of 4/105 in the second, as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 316 chasing a record target of 434. Kraigg Brathwaite (86) and Roston Chase (95) were the pick of the Windies batsmen that helped the team amass the commanding lead.
Earlier in the match, the hosts bowled out the Windies for 219 in the first innings on a spin-friendly pitch. The hosts then capitulated in their reply, also struggling on the turning surface to be all out for 159. While the Windies batsmen adjusted better in their second innings, the hosts made some sloppy batting decisions that cost them the match.
The teams are now battling it out in the second and final Test match in Bulawayo. The hosts have piled up 326 in their first innings, credit to an excellent 147-run knock by veteran opener Hamilton Masakadza. In reply, the Windies are at 78/1 at stumps on Day 2 trailing by 248 runs with 9 wickets remaining.