Rohit ends long wait for hundred as India complete clean sweep

Indore, Jan 24 (PTI) Rohit Sharma scored his first ODI hundred in three years while Shubman Gill continued his domination with another sublime ton as India completed a clean sweep with a 90-run win over New Zealand in the third match here on Tuesday.

Batters from both sides lit up the dead rubber as 680 runs were scored at the Holkar Stadium.

Rohit (101 off 85 balls) got to the three-figure mark for the first time since January 2020 while Gill (112 off 78) scored his fourth ODI hundred to take India to 385 for nine.

Following twin failures, the New Zealand top-order put up a much better show. Devon Conway (138) stitched crucial partnerships but Shardul Thakur (3/45) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/62) regularly struck to bowl out the Balck Caps for 295 in 41.2 overs.

It was India’s second consecutive clean sweep, having beaten Sri Lanka last week.

After Hardik Pandya (1/37) got rid of Finn Allen (0), Conway shared 106 runs with Henry Nicholls and 78 runs with Daryl Mitchell (24).

In the absence of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, the Indian bowlers struggled initially, leaking runs as Conway tonked the ball all around the park.

Shardul, however, managed to turn the game, as he took back-to-back wickets of Mitchell and Tom Latham (0) in the 26th over.

In his next over, Thakur sent Glenn Phillips (5) packing with a cross-seamed delivery.

Umran Malik (1/52) then got Conway as the centurion pulled awkwardly with Rohit doing the rest at midwicket as the match seemed to slip out of New Zealand’s grasp.

The spin duo of Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) then cleaned up the tail.

Earlier, Rohit and Gill put up a belligerent 212-run opening stand, sharing 22 fours and 11 sixes between them.

Rahul Dravid joked on the eve of the match that bowlers don’t want to bowl as soon as they land in Indore because of the batter-friendly conditions. The batting great had a point, and the New Zealanders rolling over their arms during the first 25 overs would have shared Dravid’s sentiment.

At one point every ball that Rohit and Gill’s bat touched was either flying to the boundary or over it.

Gill hit four fours and a six to plunder 22 runs off Lockie Ferguson in the eighth over, symbolising the kind of form the 23-year-old has been in lately.

The youngster didn’t have to even time the ball for it to run to the boundary. After three fours, he launched the short ball for an upper-cut six.

With the outfield quick and the wicket flat, the rather inexperienced New Zealand bowling unit had no answers to the Indian openers’ carnage.

The 26th over saw both Rohit and Gill getting their centuries. Rohit pulled away to deep square to get to his mark and, three balls later, Gill got to the triple-figure mark, his third in four innings.

New Zealand skipper Tom Latham used as many as six bowlers and it was his sixth option — spinner Michael Bracewell — who provided the tourists their first breakthrough.

Trying to slog one out of the park, Rohit missed the ball as it kept low and turned to eventually hit the stumps. His wicket was met with a roar by the partisan crowd, welcoming Virat Kohli (36).

A miscued shot in the next over spelt the end of Gill’s innings as New Zealand struck twice in quick succession.

Ishan Kishan (17) didn’t look too comfortable and took nine balls to open his account. A yes-no with Kohli, who had sprinted halfway, marked the end of the wicketkeeper batter’s stay in the middle.

New Zealand were able to bring down the boundaries and sixes and, looking to play a big shot, Kohli couldn’t beat Finn Allen at mid-off.

Firmly on course for a 400-plus score, India endured a familiar middle-order batting collapse, before Hardik Pandya (54 off 38 balls) provided the final flourish.

Source: PTI News


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