India’s Rohit Sharma and Axar Patel starred in Kolkata Sunday as the hosts routed World Cup runners-up New Zealand by 73 runs to make a clean-sweep of the T20 series.
Spinner Patel triggered the New Zealand batting collapse in the third over with two wickets to push the steep 185 to win target beyond their reach.
Opener Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman were two of Patel’s three wickets in the impressive 3-9 spell.
India, playing under their new coach Rahul Dravid and the new T20 captain Sharma, won the three match series in Ranchi on Friday.
Martin Guptill was the only Kiwi batsman to put up a fight scoring 51 runs off 36 balls before falling to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
Chahal, making his national comeback, had a forgettable start.
After two expensive overs, Chahal found his groove in the third with Guptill’s wicket to finish with respectable 1-26.
Both teams have rested several regular players for the series that began only three days after the Black Caps lost in the Dubai T20 World Cup final.
Seamer Harshal Patel, who made it to the national team after a breakthrough IPL (Indian Premier League) season, impressed with a 2-26 spell.
Earlier Patel also came to India’s rescue with a late order cameo scoring 18 off 11 along with Chahar who smashed 21 off 8.
Sharma top-scored for India, smashing 56 off 31 as the hosts posted 184-7.
Rookie all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, also an IPL breakout star, impressed with 1-12 in his first outing as a bowler for team India.
The stand-in skipper for New Zealand Mitchell Santner was his team’s most impressive bowler with a 3-27 spell.
Sharma had announced two changes for the hosts with Ravichandran Ashwin and KL Rahul making way for Ishan Kishan and Yuzvendra Chahal.