New Zealand beat India by four runs in third T20, take series

India's Rishabh Pant

India's Rishabh Pant

For his 139 runs at a strike rate of 173.75, wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert won the Man of the Series award after New Zealand won the three-match Twenty20 Internationals series decider against India by four runs at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Monday.

India needed 16 from the final over but New Zealand seamer Tim Southee restricted them to just four from the first five balls to effectively seal victory for the hosts. New Zealand have posed more of a threat in the latter part of India's tour, and have been a force in the shortest format.

The past three months have made for a memorable phase for the Indian cricket team, which won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand.

"These (Australia and New Zealand) two series I have learnt a lot".

India had a nightmare in the same venue during the fourth ODI where they were skittled out for 92 in the wake of some quality swing bowling from Trent Boult. I might not have bowled a lot but I learnt to bowl in different conditions.

"We have played in Hamilton and there won't be any surprise element as far as the pitch is concerned".

Khaleel Ahmed also took wickets and would look to fire again on Sunday.

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India played the same XI in the first two games and in all likelihood, will maintain continuity unless there are some niggles.

In what was the only change for India, they swapped their wrist-spinner including Kuldeep Yadav in place of Yuzvendra Chahal.

"Even the last game was a learning experience for me".

Having said that, it was a 63-run unbeaten partnership for the seventh wicket between Dinesh Karthik (33) and Krunal Pandya (26) which saw India stay alive in the game till the last three balls of the match.

With Shikhar Dhawan for company, a good opening will solve half the problems for the visitors as it has been the case during the last four years.

Debutant Blair Tickner also impressed with 1/34 from his four overs, including the key wicket of Rishabh Pant for 28 (12), when India was threatening New Zealand's 212/4. In their allotted quota of 20 overs, New Zealand ended up scoring 212-4.

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