Finn Allen hit 50 to pace the Black Caps’ chase. Photo / photosport.nz
The Black Caps have extended their unbeaten run in home ODIs but their series victory over India ended tonight on a suitably damp note.
With the hosts in total control at Hagley Oval as they chased 220 and a second triumph in the three-match series, the rain came down to instead force the teams to settle for another no result.
Cruelly for the Black Caps, who had progressed to 104-1 after 18 overs to sit well ahead of the DLS par score, only two more overs were required to constitute an official match.
But it was a sadly fitting conclusion to a tour plagued by rain, with just two of the six limited-overs fixtures between the sides producing a result.
New Zealand were left to content themselves with a 1-0 ODI series victory that saw them bounce back from a 1-0 T20 defeat and remain unbeaten at home in 50-over cricket since the start of 2019.
Home fans, meanwhile, will be waiting 11 weeks until the team next play in this country, with the Black Caps now heading to Pakistan ahead of the first test starting in Karachi on December 27.
The wash out in Christchurch was especially unfortunate for the unlikely pair of bowlers who had lifted the Black Caps into such a strong position.
After Kane Williamson had won his third toss and once more opted to bowl, Adam Milne ran through the Indian top order before Daryl Mitchell prevented any resurgence, each finishing with three wickets.
Williamson leaned heavily on his seamers as New Zealand took regular wickets and never let an Indian partnership progress beyond the 39-run opening stand, aided by wind, cloudy conditions and a pitch that offered some assistance.
Matt Henry (0-29) set the tone for a testing innings, shutting down Shubman Gill to begin. The opener needed 12 balls to get off the mark, and looking to then hasten the pace against Milne, followed consecutive boundaries by flicking the next delivery straight to Mitchell Santner.
Milne then spilled Shreyas Iyer at deep third – the only miscue on an otherwise excellent catching day for the hosts – but atoned the following over by getting Shikhar Dhawan to chop on.
The paceman was playing his first ODI series in five years, having endured a rotten run of injury luck. But Milne appeared as fit as ever while bowling his 10-over allotment in succession, finding the edge of Suryakumar Yadav to finish with 3-57.
That represented the second-best return of Milne’s ODI career, while at the other end Mitchell was also putting together one of his most memorable days.
The allrounder has enjoyed few chances to emphasise that moniker at international level, having taken only 10 wickets across formats. But Williamson tossed him the ball in the 19th over and Mitchell quickly repaid that faith as Glenn Phillips took a good catch at deep square to dismiss Rishabh Pant.
Mitchell proceeded to send down seven effective overs as India struggled to contend with his medium pace, earning career-best figures of 3-25.
Iyer (49 off 59) and Washington Sundar (51 off 64) were the only batsmen to provide real resistance, with the latter’s maiden half-century pushing India past 200.
Watch every match of the BlackCaps v India series live on Spark Sport
The target initially appeared as though it could challenge the Black Caps, with India’s seamers similarly finding conditions to their liking. Arshdeep Singh’s opening over in particular seriously tested Devon Conway, who crawled to 2 off 16 before cracking his first boundary through cover.
Finn Allen, meanwhile, rode his luck early on, sending one edge over the slip corden and another through it. But after Conway smacked four boundaries from the 10th over and Allen added a couple more in the 11th, the required run rate fell before four.
Allen brought up his fourth ODI half-century in the 16th over by lofting Sundar over long off, reaching the milestone in 50 balls. He soon departed but the real blow to the Black Caps’ chances came at the end of the 18th, when the rain fell and washed away their hopes.
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