Amit Mishra's five-wicket-haul helps India crush Kiwis to clinch ODI series
Leg spinner Amit Mishra today cast his spell at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium as India defeated New Zealand by a huge margin of 190 runs in the final ODI, thereby clinching the five-match series 3-2.
Chasing a stiff target of 270, the Black Caps bowed before the Indian bowlers, especially before Mishra who bullied them with a 5-wicket haul and eventually bundle out the visitors for an embarrassing 79 in just 23.1 overs.
Apart from the leg-spinner, Axar Patel took two wickets while Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Jayant Yadav chipped in with a wicket each.
The innings of the Kiwis just went down like a pack of cards. Such was a sorry tale of a rather promising New Zealand batting line-up that only three of its batsmen could reach the double digits-scores.
Earlier opting to bat first, the Men in Blue reached up to 269-6 in their stipulated 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and the slog-overs enterprise of Jadhav and Patel.
Sharma (70) fell after putting on 79 with Kohli (65) at over a run a ball, and skipper MS Dhoni was just beginning to get into gear when he was dismissed after a 71-run third-wicket stand with Kohli.
The game could have gone either way when Kohli fell to leave India 220 for 5 in the 44th over, but Jadhav and Axar added 46 in 39 balls to give the hosts what seemed a slight edge at the innings break.
Amit Mishra was awarded the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series award for his stupendous and classical display of leg-spin bowling during which he scalped 15 wickets.
"It's a good thing for the Indian team that I performed well. I was a little tensed for the first two overs, but once the ball started turning, I got wickets. I followed the tips given by head coach Anil Kumble. I had a word with Anil Bhai before the match and he asked me to bowl my normal flighted deliveries," he said during the post match presentation.
"Axar has been bowling well. I just want to say that if we continue like this, it will be good for the team. All the credit goes to the coaches and my teammates," he added.
It was India's first home ODI series win since 2014.