Mount Maunganui: India registered a rare 5-0 whitewash against New Zealand after notching up a seven-run win in the fifth and final T20 International at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Electing to bat, India posted 163 for three, riding on Rohit Sharma's 60 off 41 balls and a 33-ball 45 from Lokesh Rahul.
The visitors then restricted the hosts to 156 for nine with Jasprit Bumrah claiming three wickets for 12 runs.
Chasing the target, the Black Caps were tottering at 17 for three in 3.2 overs.
Tim Seifert (50) and Ross Taylor (53) then added 99 runs for the fourth wicket as New Zealand recovered to 116.
Seifert clobbered a 30-ball 50 studded with five fours and three sixes, while Ross Taylor hit two sixes and five fours in his 47-ball 53-run innings.
However, once Seifert was dismissed in the 13th over, the hosts suffered a collapse, losing five wickets, including Taylor, for 25 runs to loss the plot in the end.
Earlier, stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma battled a calf injury on way to his 60 off 41 balls before retiring hurt as India managed 163 for three
Sharma, batting at number three, was retired hurt after injuring his left calf whilst hitting a six and walked off the field in discomfort. He faced 41 balls and hit three fours as well as three sixes.
This was after India won the toss and opted to bat. Virat Kohli was expectedly rested, with Sharma coming in, and it was the only change for India from Wellington.
For New Zealand, Kane Williamson didn’t recover on time and Tim Southee led the side once again.
Despite Sharma’s return, Sanju Samson (2) continued to open the innings and it didn’t work again. Yet another opportunity went abegging as he hit straight to extra cover and was out for two runs.
KL Rahul (45) and Sharma then added 88 runs for the second wicket, providing vital momentum to the Indian innings.
The in-form duo dominated the Black Caps’ attack and put on 50 off just 35 balls. Rahul hit four fours and two sixes in his 33-ball stay.
He fell in the 12th over against the run of play and finished with 224 runs in the series, the most for an Indian batsman in any bilateral T20I series.
Sharma scored his 25th T20I half-century off 35 balls. He looked to accelerate but then injured himself in the 17th over and retired.
The loss of both Rahul and Sharma impacted the Indian innings, and they lost all momentum on a slowing wicket.
Shreyas Iyer smacked 33 off 31 balls, including a four and two sixes, but couldn’t push the score past the 170-mark.
Manish Pandey scored 11 not out off four balls, with a four and a six.