Mount Maunganui, Feb 11 : KL Rahul's century went in vain as New Zealand thrashed India by five wickets in the third and final ODI and completed a 3-0 whitewash at the Bay Oval, here on Tuesday. India had last been whitewashed in a 3- match ODI series in 1997 against Sri Lanka. Before that, in 1989, India had been whitewashed 5-0 by the West Indies.
Henry Nicholls scored 80 (103 balls) and Martin Guptill made 66 off 46 balls as the Black Caps scored 300 for five in 47.1 overs. Needing 297 runs to win, the Kiwis were off to a confident start. Martin Guptill attacked in the powerplay overs bringing up his 38th ODI half-century from just 29 balls. Yuzvendra Chahal got the wicket of Guptill as he departed for 66. Guptill and Henry Nicholls (80) shared a 106-run opening partnership.
Kane Williamson (22) and Ross Taylor (12) did not score big but Henry Nicholls' fine batting kept the hosts in the hunt even when they lost a few quick wickets in the middle. Nicholls got out for 80 to Shardul Thakur. James Neesham lost his wicket to Yuzvendra Chahal after getting a good start. In the end, the 80-run partnership for the sixth-wicket between Colin de Grandhomme (58) and Tom Latham (32) sealed the win for hosts. Earlier, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and invited India to bat. India were off to a horrible start losing opener Mayank Agarwal (1) and skipper Virat Kohli (9) for singledigit scores.
Young opener Prithvi Shaw got off to a good start but got run out. Shaw scored 40 runs from 41 deliveries. At one point of time, India were struggling at 62-3 but the fourth-wicket 100-run partnership between Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul helped India recover. Iyer registered his third fifty-plus score in a row before getting out to James Neesham.
After the end of the promising innings of Iyer, Rahul shared another 107 runs for the fifth wicket with Manish Pandey (42). India were cruising towards a big total but Rahul and Pandey got out off successive deliveries from Hamish Bennett in the 47th over. Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini contributed with 8, 7 and 8 towards the end and took India's total to 296/7 at the end of 50 overs. Hamish Bennett was the most successful bowler with 6/44 for Kiwis, while Kyle Jamieson 1/53 and James Neesham 1/50 were the other wicket takers.
Henry Nicholls was given the Player of the Match award, while Ross Taylor was adjudged as the Player of the Series for amassing 194 runs in the three innings and being dismissed only once. (UNI)