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India tops all-round ODI rankings with clean sweep over New Zealand

In what turned out to be a run-fest at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, the 212-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, alongside Shardul Thakur’s all-round effort, helped India clean-sweep the three-match ODI series versus New Zealand 3-0 and also top the Men’s ODI rankings. The visitors managed 295 in pursuit of a monstrous target of 386.

New Zealand needed a quick start but they didn’t get one as Finn Allen chopped Hardik Pandya’s short of a length ball onto the stumps; paying the price for hanging back in the crease. Devon Conway (100-ball 138) and Henry Nicholls, though, counter-attacked with a 106-run second wicket stand. The duo brought out the scoop, pull, slog-sweep, alongside using their feet to put some pressure back on the Indian bowlers.

Just in the nick of time, Kuldeep Yadav trapped Nicholls in front with the skidder. Despite losing his batting partner, Conway continued to play with freedom, bringing out the slog-sweep, reverse sweep and occasionally chipping down the track to counter Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. At 184 for 2, in 25 overs, New Zealand were very much in the hunt. But Thakur bowled a game-breaking spell to put India in pole position.

Earlier, India have set a target of 386 runs for New Zealand in the third and final ODI match at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. In reply, New Zealand were 50/1 in 8 overs, when reports last came in. Put into bat, the hosts scored 385 for 9 in 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma scored his first ODI century in three years. Shubman Gill continued his explosive run, smashing 112 runs in 78 balls. For the Kiwis, Jacob Duffy and Blair Tickner scalped three wickets each while Michael Bracewell took one wicket.

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