Kanpur: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli conjured up classy hundreds as India registered a thrilling six-run win over New Zealand in the third and final ODI, clinching the three-match series 2-1 at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Sunday.
Chasing 338, New Zealand faltered towards the fag end of their chase despite some fine knocks by their batsmen. Colin Munro (75), Tom Latham (65) and Kane Williamson (64) played brilliant innings to keep New Zealand in hunt in major part of their chase but paceman Jasprit Bumrah (3/47) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/47) gave timely blows to dent Kiwis run chase.
Earlier, Rohit and Kohli fired India to a record 337 for six against New Zealand. Rohit and Kohli, who became the first ever pairing to complete four double hundred partnerships in ODIs, were simply unstoppable against a bowling attack that looked pretty ordinary on the day.
Their spectacular showing also helped India comfortably beat the previous highest score at Green Park, 303 for five that South Africa had scored against them two years ago.
The destructive duo was in complete control ever since Shikhar Dhawan (14) departed in the seventh over and ended up with a record breaking 230-run stand off 211 balls.
While Kohli had already hit a fine hundred in the series opener, Sharma rose to the occasion after failing in the first two games after New Zealand put the home team in.
The last time he played an ODI here, he made 150, and two years on, the stylish right-hander from Mumbai gave the packed crowd an afternoon to remember. There are not many prettier sights in cricket than watching Sharma bat in full flow.
Kohli, on his part, began with two crisp boundaries off Southee, one through the covers and the next one a whip over midwicket.
Without taking much risk, the star pair managed to get an odd boundary in the middle overs and by the time Sharma got to his 15th ODI hundred in 33rd over, India were cruising at 183 for one.
Sharma was finding the fence more frequently than Kohli as he hammered 18 fours to go with two maximums.
After Sharma fell to a tired shot in the 42nd over, Kohli breezed to his 32nd hundred and his second in the series, with a single off Santner.
His remarkable feat brought a passionate fan into the field of play but before he could get close to his hero, the security officials took care of him. Kohli's innings comprised nine fours and six.
Hardik Pandya came out to bat at four ahead of Dinesh Karthik but fell cheaply. The next man, M S Dhoni, smashed three boundaries before mistiming one to be caught at short third-man.
The last 15 overs fetched 141 runs for the hosts. The most expensive bowler for New Zealand proved to be Boult, who leaked 81 runs in 10 overs - his worst figures in 50-over cricket.