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India thrash New Zealand by 168 runs in record win, secure series 2-1

CricketIndia thrash New Zealand by 168 runs in record win, secure series 2-1

Srinagar: Youngster Shubman Bill’s maiden T20 century and skipper Hardik Pandya’s four wicket haul helped India thrash New Zealand by 168 runs in the third T20I to clinch series 2-1 in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

The 168-run victory was India’s biggest-ever win (by margin) in T20Is. The victory surpassed their previous record of a 143-run victory against Ireland in Malahide in 2018. Their third biggest win came against Afghanistan in 2022 when they prevailed in the contest by 101 runs.

The victory in Ahmedabad was brilliantly set up by opener Shubman Gill. The opener continued his sizzling form in international cricket, scoring a brilliant 126* in only 63 deliveries. His knock consisted of 12 fours and 7 maximum. This was his maiden century in T20I cricket.

Rahul Tripathi (44 off 22), Hardik Pandya (30 off 17) and Suryakumar Yadav (24 off 13) also chipped in with handy cameos as India posted a mammoth total of 234/4 in their 20 overs.

The bowlers then set the tone for India in the Powerplay, as New Zealand were left struggling at 21/5 after 4.2 overs. The visitors never managed to recover from the horrendous start, as they succumbed to a 168-run defeat.

For India, it was a brilliant team effort from the pacers, with Hardik Pandya (4/16) and Umran Malik (2/9) being the pick of the bowlers. For New Zealand, Daryl Mitchell was the lone warrior with a fighting knock of 35.

India will now turn their attention to Test cricket, with a high-profile series against Australia at home coming up. The four-match series will be vital for India’s hopes of qualifying for the World Test Championship final.

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