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Rohit half-century, lower order flourish takes India to 184/7

Rohit Sharma's imperious form was on full display as he laid the platform for an above par score of 184/7 against New Zealand in the third and final T20 International here on Sunday.

Rohit half-century, lower order flourish takes India to 184/7
Image Courtesy: Twitter/@BCCI


In his bid to test the team's character by batting first, the skipper led the way with a 56 off 31 balls with five fours and three sixes but despite a blazing start, the Indians stuttered in the middle overs before Harshal Patel (18 off 11 balls) and Deepak Chahar (21 not out off 8 balls) used their long handles which fetched 50 runs in last five overs.

Ishan Kishan (29 off 21 balls), Shreyas Iyer (25 off 20 balls) and Venkatesh Iyer (20 off 15 balls) all got starts but couldn't convert it into a big score.

Having got two flashy back-to-back boundaries off the very first over by Trent Boult, there was no looking back for Rohit.

There was no preferential treatment as all the fast bowlers were treated with equal disdain as he and Kishan made full use of the of the Powerplay overs, which yielded 69 runs. Rohit pulled Boult behind square for his first six and hit Adam Milne (0/47 in 4 overs) over long-on for the second maximum and the third off Lockie Ferguson was another pull behind the square into the stand below the giant electronic scoreboard.

Post Powerplay, stand-in captain Mitchell Santner (4-0-27-3) was able to pull things back as Kishan edged an arm ball into the keeper's gloves while Suryakumar Yadav (0) played a loose shot to a tossed up delivery giving an easy catch to the cover, much to the irritation of his skipper.

Rohit's frustration was compounded when Rishabh Pant went for an ugly hoick to give Santner his third wicket in his second over.

But Rohit didn't allow the fall of wicket to bog him down as he got his fifty with a deliberate cut through the vacant third-man area off his opposite number.

His sequence of scores in last six T20 Internationals is 74, 30, 56, 48, 55 and 56 and captaincy hasn't changed his style of play one bit.

Shreyas also gained in confidence as he got a boundary to take the score past 100-run mark.

It took a brilliant one-handed reflex catch from Ish Sodhi to dismiss Rohit. Sodhi tried to bowl wide off Rohit's reach but gave enough air, which enticed him to give the charge without getting to the pitch of the delivery.

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