For a second time in two games – the fourth time in the last 12 months – New Zealand opted for the scenic Super Over route towards claiming a match win when a straight forward victory was in their grasp. There was nothing pretty waiting for them at the end of that one-over eliminator as KL Rahul and Virat Kohli chased down 14 off Tim Southee’s over to put India 4-0 up in the series.
New Zealand had no business taking it there. They had India 88/6 after electing to bat and then allowed them to get to 165 on a good batting track. Then Colin Munro and Tim Seifert scored solid half-centuries, leaving the hosts on the brink of win.
When Shardul Thakur stepped out to bowl the final over, New Zealand needed 7 to win with half-centurion Seifert, Ross Taylor and five other wickets in hand. Taylor went for the glory shot off Ball 1 and holed out to a good catch from Shreyas Iyer. But even from there, when Daryl Mitchell lofted the second delivery over mid-off, the equation had come down to 3 of 4.
Seifert then was run-out while trying to sneak a bye. Mitchell then lofted a knuckleball straight to mid-off. A single off the fifth ball left New Zealand needing two to get from the final delivery. Mitchell Santner could pick up just a single to sweeper cover off the final ball forcing the Super Over.
The same guys as Hamilton. Jasprit Bumrah and Tim Southee. Curiously, Bumrah went for his patented yorker only with his final delivery. He was unlucky with a couple of dropped chances – albeit difficult ones – from Iyer and Rahul, but bowled a couple of loose deliveries that allowed New Zealand to pick up 13.
In response, Rahul and Kohli walked out to bat while Southee, the stand-in captain, backed himself to bowl another Super Over. This one didn’t go any better than his recent ones. The first ball was in the slot, Rahul heaved it beyond mid-wicket. A short ball next up was pulled away for four. India had polished 10 runs off 2 balls. To Southee’s credit, he got Rahul out off the third, forcing Kohli to play it carefully. The Indian captain used his experience to knock a ball to mid-on and drag Samson for a double and finished it a ball later with a cracking pull for four.
Brief Scores: India 165/8 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 50*, KL Rahul 39; Ish Sodhi 3-26) tied with New Zealand 165/8 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 64, Tim Seifert 57; Shardul Thakur 2-33). India chased down 14 to win the Super Over.