India v New Zealand T20s

India seal NZ series in rain-hit final T20

Hosts claim narrow victory in series-decider in rain-shortened match


8 November 2017, 08:05 AM AEST

Santner's stunners not enough as India triumph

New Zealand have fallen desperately short of a Twenty20 International series win in India, losing the third and deciding match by six runs in Thiruvananathpuram.

The tourists couldn't reach an achievable target after India posted 5-67 off eight overs in a match severely shortened by rain.

An excellent effort in the field was followed by a chase which lacked composure, eventually reaching 6-61.

It means New Zealand will leave with 2-1 series losses in both the one-day international and T20 series. On both occasions they lost the decider by six runs.

Skipper Kane Williamson says that with just eight overs in hand, the Black Caps' ability to bat at the death came under close scrutiny.

"Guys are coming out essentially playing death in terms of their batting from ball one," he said.

"It kind of means that you're not too fluid in how you're going to operate, whereas with 20 overs you can roll with the punches a little bit, and it ebbs and flows."

None of the Black Caps batsmen could unearth their timing, with only Colin de Grandhomme's unbeaten 17 off 10 balls lifting them within sight.

De Grandhomme's second six left his team needing 11 off the last three balls but he and Mitchell Santner couldn't get any further purchase on Hardik Pandya's seam deliveries.

Earlier, New Zealand dispatched Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in the third over off successive balls, both well caught by Mitchell Santner off Tim Southee (2-13).

India struggled for momentum after captain Virat Kohli became the first of two Ish Sodhi (2-23) victims.

Santner combined with de Grandhomme to pull off a superb team outfield catch and remove top-scorer Manish Pandey (17) in the final over.

With the Greenfield International Stadium surface taking plenty of turn, Williamson said India had done well to set a challenging target.

"It was a tricky surface, so to get eight an over on that from India's perspective was a good effort," he said.

"Eight an over is standard T20 cricket. However, eight an over on that surface is fairly difficult.

"It's trying to adapt as best you can and take your best options - you don't have to go silly, but you do need to try and play smart cricket."