Virat Kohli scored a superb unbeaten 154 as India eased to a 7-wicket win in the crucial third ODI against New Zealand at Mohali on Sunday.
With this victory, India have taken a lead of 2-1 in the 5-match Ind vs NZ ODI Series 2016.
It was a high-scoring contest at the PCA Stadium with New Zealand coming up with a total of 285 which was chased down with 10 balls to spare by the Indians.
Skipper MS Dhoni produced a high-quality innings after a long time with his 80 while adding 151 runs for the third wicket with Kohli.
Check out the India vs New Zealand 3rd ODI Scorecard at our cricket website – OyeCricket.com.
It was a masterclass from Virat Kohli, who was dropped on 6 when Ross Taylor put down an absolute dolly at slip. Kohli’s 154 came in 134 balls with the help of 16 fours and a six to get the Man of the Match award.
Kohli during the prize distribution said: “Bit of luck went my way, I feel sorry for Ross, it’s never easy to drop a catch and the batsman carries through. I’ve done that, and Brendon got 300 in Wellington.
“We may have given a bit too much to New Zealand, but we took it as an opportunity to chase them down, because we know we are a good chasing team. Good to have MS up the order, and Manish gave me confidence as well when he came in.”
On his partnerships with MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey, Kohli said: “We fed off each other, I fed off MS as well. And it wasn’t the easiest pitch. Some balls were stopping on us. In the past I have tried to play out of my skin, getting overexcited, but I’ve realised if I can time the ball, and hit the gaps and run hard, I can still get runs.
“If a bowler can hit the right areas and be good, a batsman can be good playing proper shots. Me and MS had a chat, he took on the spinner, even mistimed hits go over the crowd. I know teams want to get me out immediately, so I take my time, go with the flow and then attack at the end. For that you need to play percentage cricket and I know I can play good cricketing shots and still get runs.”
Early on, New Zealand from a position of 153 for 3 in the 29th over slipped to a precarious position of 180 for 7 in the 35th over. All-rounder Jimmy Neesham with 57 from 47 balls alongside Matt Henry with 39 changed the tide in NZ’s favour by giving a perfect turnaround, taking the total to 285.
But with Virat Kohli in full flow, the New Zealanders found the total to be atleast 40 runs short.
For the Kiwis, opener Tom Latham was the highest scorer with 61 while Kedar Jadhav was the most successful bowler for India, taking three wickets with his part-time offbreaks.
The fourth ODI of the series is at Ranchi on October 26 with India looking to seal it with a 3-1 lead while the Kiwis are in a must-win situation to save it. While the first ODI at Dharamsala was won by India, the second ODI at Delhi was won by New Zealand.