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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Kohli and Rohit centuries help India pip New Zealand in Kanpur thriller to clinch ODI series

New Zealand needed 15 runs off the final over to chase down a 338-run victory target but a nerveless Jasprit Bumrah conceded only seven while picking up his third wicket of the match

India's Rohit Sharma, left, hugs captain Virat Kohli after scoring a century during their third one-day international against New Zealand in Kanpur. Altaf Qadri / AP Photo
India's Rohit Sharma, left, hugs captain Virat Kohli after scoring a century during their third one-day international against New Zealand in Kanpur. Altaf Qadri / AP Photo

India registered a 2-1 series victory against New Zealand after Jasprit Bumrah's tidy final over secured the hosts' six-run win in the third and final one-day international on Sunday.

New Zealand needed 15 runs off the final over to chase down a 338-run victory target but a nerveless Bumrah conceded only seven while picking up his third wicket of the match to help India prevail in the runfest.

"Credit to New Zealand," winning captain Virat Kohli said in a post-match interview. "They challenged us in all three games, and forced us to play our best in every game. Credit to the skill and character they possess."

Earlier, centurions Kohli and Rohit Sharma featured in a mammoth 230-run stand to help the hosts post 337-6 after New Zealand, wary of the dew factor later in the evening, elected to field at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium.

New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill early in their reply but Colin Munro smashed three sixes in his blistering 75 and Kane Williamson made a fluent 64 to help them overcome the early loss.

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Wristspinner Yuzvendra Chahal ended the 109-run partnership, dismissing both the batsmen but Tom Latham refused to throw in the towel.

Latham and Ross Taylor had engineered New Zealand's successful in the series opener in Mumbai and they looked determined to reprised the role.

Bumrah (3-47) poured cold water on their plans, however, by first dismissing Taylor for 39 and then running out Latham, who made 65, in the 48th over of the New Zealand innings.

Put into bat, India lost Shikhar Dhawan (14) early but New Zealand had to toil in the subsequent 35 overs as Kohli and Sharma became the first ODI pair to star in four double-century partnerships.

Rohit batted with characteristic elegance to score 147 off 138 balls. His 15th one-day century was studded with 18 boundaries and a couple of sixes before he fell in the 42nd over.

"Feels good when the team wins, and you contribute," said man-of-the-match Rohit. "Happy how we played through this series."

Kohli was silky smooth at the other end as the India captain became the fastest batsman to complete 9,000 ODI runs, achieving the feat in 194 innings.

The right-hander made 113 off 106 balls, with nine boundaries and a six in his 32nd one-day century.

When asked about the record. Kohli said: "My aim is for the team to win the game and the series, and if I personally do well then it's an added bonus. These things [records] are hard to ignore since we keep hearing these, but the aim is to always make the team win from any situation."

His opposite number Williamson conceded India had been the better team in the series, but said there were plenty of positives to take into the three-match Twenty20 series beginning in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"Fantastic series, some great cricket played and in good spirit," he said. "Credit to Kohli and team, they were the better team, although by just a little bit. Lots of promising signs from our end. Losing from this close is frustrating, but there are some good signs."

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