Kanpur, Oct 29 (IANS) A brilliant performance from opener Rohit Sharma (147) and skipper Virat Kohli (113), who crossed 9,000 ODI runs, helped India post a daunting score of 337/6 in the third and final One Day International (ODI) cricket match against New Zealand at the Green Park Stadium here on Sunday.
Rohit struck his 15th century in ODIs, fifth of this year and first against New Zealand, while Kohli slammed his 32nd ton and fifth against the visitors to help India score the highest total in 15 ODIs here. The previous was 303 by South Africa against India in 2015.
It was also Kohli’s sixth century in 2017, the most by a captain in a year. Previously, Sourav Ganguly (2000), Australia’s Ricky Ponting (2003, 2007), South Africa’s Graeme Smith (2005) and AB de Villiers (2015) struck five.
After a steady start, Rohit and Kohli displayed their class and temperament in the middle overs and helped India to cross the 250 run mark comfortably. But after the fall of Rohit’s wicket, the performance of the middle-order batsmen was not up tp the mark. In the last 10 overs India only managed to score 85 runs, a credit to the visitors who got their death bowling spot on.
After being put in to bat, it was a steady start for India as both openers Shikhar Dhawan (14) and Rohit put on 29 runs with some brilliant strokes before Dhawan was dismissed by Tim Southee in the seventh over.
It turned out to be the only success for the visitors for a long time as Rohit and incoming batsman Kohli applied themselves perfectly in the middle to frustrate the New Zealand bowlers till the 42nd over.
Rohit set-up the template and Kohli followed suit as the duo forged a 230 run partnership, which is the highest stand between the duo going past 219 against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
But just when things seemed perfect in the middle, Rohit was dismissed by Mitchell Santner, caught by Southee, while trying to pace up the innings. His 138-ball knock was laced with 18 boundaries and two sixes.
New batsman Hardik Pandya, who was promoted up the order,then joined Kohli but failed to rise to the occasion. The Baroda player only managed to score eight runs in six balls.
After adding a few more runs, Kohli also departed. The Delhi batsman was sent back to the pavilion by Southee and caught by skipper Kane Williamson. He faced 106 balls and slammed one six and nine boundaries.
The fall of Kohli’s wicket brought in new batsmen Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) and Kedar Jadhav (18). Soon Dhoni and Jadhav were also sent packing by Adam Milne in the same over but by that time India had already reached a good total.
For New Zealand, pacer Tim Southee, Adam Milne and spinner Mitchell Santner scalped two wickets each.
Brief Scores India 337/6 (Rohit Sharma 147, Virat Kohli 113; Mitchell Santner 2/58) against New Zealand.
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