History was created in Hamilton, New Zealand, as India claimed their first-ever T20I series victory over the Kiwis away from home. Leading the series 2-0 heading into this game, the tension was palpable at a packed Seddan Park Stadium, as India managed a thrilling last-ball victory. And one of the heroes of that win was none other than Kings XI Punjab’s Mohammed Shami, who delivered a brilliant final over under pressure to force the game into a Super Over.
Batting first, India made 179 runs with vice-captain Rohit Sharma top-scoring with 65, while fellow opener KL Rahul scored an invaluable 27 to give the team a good start. In reply, New Zealand were initially struggling at 137/4 after 16 overs. However, captain Kane Williamson took matters into his own hands, as he smashed Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah for 19 runs in the penultimate over.
The Kiwis needed just nine of the final Mohammed Shami over, and seemed destined to pick up a win when Ross Taylor smashed a six of the first delivery. The veteran pacer however regained his composure and he delivered the next five balls on the money.
Altering up his length, Shami bowled slightly shorter and that instantly reaped rewards as Williamson edged on to the keeper soon after. The Indian pacer then forced Tim Seifert to miss the two subsequent balls to get his team back in the contest. With a solitary run needed to win off the final ball, Shami hit his mark once again as a fullish delivery got an inside edge off Taylor’s bat and hit the stumps.
Millions of Indians scrambling to put on Hotstar again as Shami does the unthinkable and forces a Super Over after giving away just two off his last five balls!— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) January 29, 2020
Super over in Hamilton!!! Brilliant last over from Shami. #NZvInd— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) January 29, 2020
What an incredible last over by Mohd.Shami ...totally incredible and that wicket on the last ball ... unbelievable ...— GOURMANDIZERS (@rockyandmayur) January 29, 2020
Way to go team India ... now to see who wins on the super over pic.twitter.com/7iH2XkF7Iq
Shami’s heroic performance under pressure was lauded by many in the media, with his disciplined death bowling earning him high praise. His efforts got India back in the contest, and in the Super Over, Sharma and Rahul did the needful as they managed to chase down New Zealand’s score of 18. Rahul ended unbeaten at five runs, while Sharma struck the winning notes with a score of 15 which included two massive sixes.
Shami, Rahul and Sharma’s collective heroics scripted a historic win for the Indians, as they managed to win their first-ever T20 series away from home against the Blackcaps.