Finn Allen and Devon Conway had a 97-run opening stand as New Zealand began their chase of 220 against India on a bright note. Pacer Umran Malik broke it by taking out Allen, but rain soon arrived to stop play in third and final ODI between India and New Zealand at Hagley Oval on Wednesday.
Presently, New Zealand are at 104/1 in 18 overs and are clearly ahead as per DLS method by 50 runs. But to constitute a full match, 20 overs are needed to be completed in the second innings. Even if match is washed out, New Zealand will clinch the series due to them being 1-0 ahead.
In chasing 220, Allen and Conway started cautiously, adding only 34 in the first eight overs as Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh kept them in check. Allen, though, was more aggressive of the two, getting some boundaries as Conway took time to find his groove.
Conway then single-handedly upped the ante in the 10th over when he struck four boundaries off Chahar — with a straight drive being the pick of the shots. Allen also teed off when he used Umran Malik’s pace in the next over to hit back-to-back boundaries.
Allen got his fifty when he hit a flat-batted six over long-off off Washington Sundar. After pulling Malik through fine leg in the 17th over, Allen tried to reach out to a short ball, but toe-ended the cut to cover, ending the 97-run opening partnership as he fell for 57.
Conway then pulled Arshdeep through deep mid-wicket before rain put a pause on the proceedings, not for the first time in this series. Earlier, all-rounder Sundar slammed his maiden ODI fifty to carry India to a modest 219 in 47.3 overs.
On a pitch, where there was a lot of grass and lateral movement, and with overcast conditions, India’s innings never really got going, till Sundar stood up and applied himself to hit five fours and a six in a 64-ball knock to take the visitors past 200-mark.
Apart from him, Shreyas Iyer also played a handy knock of 49 as rest of the batters struggled and perished to a disciplined bowling show by New Zealand. For the hosts, Daryl Mitchell being used as the fifth bowler was a master-stroke, picking 3/25 in his seven overs.
Adam Milne, coming in for spinner Michael Bracewell, got three wickets for 57 runs in his ten overs. Tim Southee picked two scalps while Matt Henry, despite being wicketless, gave away just 29 runs in his very effective ten overs.
Brief Scores: India 219 all out in 47.3 overs (Washington Sundar 51, Shreyas Iyer 49; Daryl Mitchell 3/25, Adam Milne 3/57) against New Zealand 104/1 in 18 overs (Finn Allen 57, Devon Conway 38 not out; Umran Malik 1/31).