India’s stand-in captain Hardik Pandya walked the talk as he led the charge from the front in chase of 161 in a rain-affected 3rd T20I against New Zealand in Napier on Tuesday, November 22. Hardik counter-attacked after India openers Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant failed even as rain threat was looming large at McLean Park.
Hardik Pandya hit 3 boundaries and a six for his 18-ball 30 that helped India race ahead after the wobbly start, after which they were reduced 21 for 3 inside the 3rd over. Hardik launched into the New Zealand pace attack, displaying fearlessness as India managed to be at par with the DLS par total of 75 at the end of the 9th over.
Rain poured down after the 9th over and the match was called off, resulting in a tie via the DLS method. India had to be more than 75 at the end of the 9th over but they settled for a tie and walked away with the T20I trophy after winning the series 1-0. India had hammered New Zealand by 65 runs after posting 191 in the 2nd T20I in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
“We would have liked to won this game, but that is how it is. We don’t mind getting a trophy and going back with a win. Offense is the best defense on this wicket. They have a good bowling attack and it was important we went ahead in the power play even though we lost a few wickets,” Hardik said.
” A game like this would have given the opportunity to the rest of the batters. I would have liked to play the 20 overs, and would have liked to win it that way but these things can’t be control,” he added.