The Men in Blue pulled off an astonishing victory in the rain-curtailed third T20I to clinch the series 2-1. India's pace and spin attack bowled exceptionally well under pressure in the series deciding match to win over a spirited New Zealand side by a mere 6 runs. The win also marked India's first ever T20 international series win over the Kiwis.
After New Zealand squared the series in Rajkot, the action turned towards the third and deciding T20 match at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. While rain played spoilsport in the first half of the match, the weather gods calmed down for a rain-shortened game of just 8 overs.
Put into bat first, India were restricted to 67/5 with Manish Pandey (17 off 11 balls), Virat Kohli (13 off 6 balls) and Hardik Pandya (14* off 10 balls) contributing with the bat. For the Kiwis, the pick of the bowlers were Tim Southee (2/13) ,Ish Sodhi (2/23) and Trent Boult finishing with 1 for 13.
The Kiwis needed a mere 68 runs off 8 overs but the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal bowled exceptionally well under pressure to restrict the Kiwis.
The Kiwis were rocked early losing Martin Guptill and Colin Munro cheaply to India's pace attack, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/18) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/9). The screws were further tightened as Yuzvendra Chahal (0/8) bowled two miserly overs and a single over from Kuldeep Yadav that saw two successive dismissals, leaving New Zealand in dire straits at 28/4.
Reeling under pressure from the mounting run-rate, the Kiwis capitulated as the Men in Blue pressed hard in the final two overs to restrict the visitors to 61/6. India's Jasprit Bumrah, was adjudged as the man of the match as well as the man of the series for his splendid bowling performance.
Earlier, while India won the first T20 match of the series by 53 runs in Delhi, New Zealand roared back by winning the second game by 40 runs in Rajkot. The first T20I victory saw the Men in Blue recorded their first T20 win against the Kiwis. The match also saw Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put a record breaking 158-run for the first wicket - the highest in T20 internationals for India. Moreover, Shikhar Dhawan (80) posted his career-best score in T20Is and Rohit Sharma become the second Indian batsman to go past 1,000 runs in a winning cause in T20Is.
The Men in Blue now begin another long home series against the island neighbours' Sri Lanka, starting with a three-match test series. The first Test begins on the November 16 at the Eden Gardens.
West Indies Tour of Zimbabwe
The West Indies won the 2-match Test series 1-0 against Zimbabwe after the second Test ended in a draw. Although Zimbabwe lost the series, this was the first Test draw for Zimbabwe in 12 years and the first time the team has avoided defeat in their last 10 matches.
Zimbabwe's Regis Chakabva and skipper Graeme Cremer put on an unbeaten eighth wicket stand of 91 to secure a draw in the second and final Test. The pair came together when Zimbabwe were struggling with a second innings lead of 88 and just three wickets remaining. The duo played out almost 50 overs showing a stubborn resistance and leaving Windies bowlers frustrated.
Zimbabwe's all-rounder Sikandar Raza was named man of the match for his scores of 80 and 89, and bowling figures of 5/99, while the Windies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo claimed man of the series after taking 13 wickets at an average of 26.15.
England have suffered a major setback ahead of the iconic Ashes series due to be underway later this month. Paceman Steve Finn has been ruled out of the Ashes due to a knee injury. He joins England's lengthening list of fast-bowling absentees after tearing cartilage in his left knee batting in the nets.
Uncapped Tom Curran has been named as his replacement, ahead of candidates such as Tom Helm and Liam Plunkett. Although Curran hasn't played Test cricket, he did impress during his limited-overs appearances for England during the summer. He will be competing with Jake Ball and Craig Overton, who have only three caps between them, for a spot in first eleven.