Shardul Thakur's fantastic final over sets stage for New Zealand heartbreak yet again

Source :SIFY
Last Updated: Fri, Jan 31st, 2020, 17:43:49hrs
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TeamIndia

The writing seemed to be on the wall when Shardul Thakur walked out to bowl the final over of the innings, with seven runs needed off six deliveries. With Ross Taylor and Tim Seifert well set on the crease, it was certainly a battle against the odds. Thakur had to emulate Mohammed Shami's heroics from the previous game with two runs less to play with. One would certainly not have held anything against the pacer considering the slim margins involved.  

However, Thakur gave the world a glimpse of his talent and capabilities with an excellent full ball on middle which Taylor attempted to whip on the leg side, but to no avail as Iyer completed a sublime catch falling forward. The pacer however failed to deliver the same quality off the next delivery, bowling a full delivery around off which was duly dispatched over covers by new batsman Daryl Mitchell. With 3 runs needed off four deliveries, the Black Caps were in prime position to emerge victorious. However, Thakur had another ace up his sleeve as he deceived Mitchell with a slower bumper bowled outside off, which the batsman attempted to pull without proper contact. 

The batters attempted to complete a quick bye, but were thwarted in this bid as wicketkeeper KL Rahul executed a quick run-out with an excellent throw. With the Black Caps' second highest run-scorer Tim Seifert back in the pavillion following this moment of brilliance, India roared back in the game on the back of a sublime show from Thakur off the remaining three deliveries. A single off the next delivery was followed by the dismissal of Mitchell who attempted to loft a slower ball bowled over mid off, with Dube completing the catch. 

With momentum on India's side, Thakur ensured an excellent finish to the over with a superb full ball bowled outside off, which Mitchell Santner hit through covers. However, Samson delivered an excellent throw to keeper KL Rahul catching Santner well short, as the visitors celebrated another Super Over from a losing position.

Skipper Virat Kohli has always been a staunch advocate of battling it out till the last delivery, which certainly reflected in the attitude of the Men in Blue who fought through thick and thin. However, the job was not yet done with the Super Over coming up. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah made a soaring comeback after a below-par performance in the previous clash of the series, restricting the Black Caps to just 13 runs. 

Tim Seifert was left looking utterly clueless as he struggled to middle any of his four deliveries, with a sole boundary extremely unconvincing as well. The Black Caps managed to reach a score of 13, following a lofted boundary over point by Colin Munro, with Bumrah ensuring a tight finish off the final delivery conceding only a single.

In turn, opener KL Rahul who has been in fantastic form in recent times, ensured early pressure on pacer Tim Southee smashing a six off the first delivery, clearing his front leg and whipping the ball high and handsome into the mid-wicket stand. This was followed by a boundary off the next delivery over short fine leg, making it 10 runs from the first two deliveries. 

With just four runs needed off four deliveries, skipper Virat Kohli ensured no lapses despite Rahul's dismissal after attempting a shot too many. Kohli completed two runs off the fourth delivery, tapping the ball towards mid on with soft hands, before pulling the ball through mid-wicket to wrap up another excellent win making it 4-0 in favour of Team India.

The T20I series has borne witness to two consecutive super overs in a series, which has never taken place. With excitement of the highest order, and gameplay at the highest level possible, audiences certainly enjoyed a roller-coaster ride which pays tribute to the beauty of cricket.

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