BLACKCAPS close out narrow T20 win

A stunning innings from Brendon McCullum and thrilling last over from James Franklin secured a one run win in the Twenty20 match against India in Chennai

The New Zealanders put up a commanding 167 for five after being put into but with the home side falling just short on 166 for four.

The win was set up by Brendon McCullum who lashed 91 off 55 deliveries.  The world’s leading Twenty20 run-scorer displayed a full range of shots, sending 11 deliveries to the fence and three over it.  He was eventually bowled out in a bizarre fashion with a leg side delivery rolling off his pad, onto his elbow before deflecting onto the stumps.

Williamson put on 90 with McCullum, weighing in with 28 from 26 balls, while captain Ross Taylor contributed an unbeaten 25 off 19 deliveries and Jacob Oram chipped-in with 18 not out off nine.

India made a swift start in reply, taking 19 off the first two overs, before Kyle Mills took a smart catch off his own bowling to send Gautam Gambhir back to the pavilion for just three.

Virat Kohli then put on a batting master-class to put his side in the box-seat at 120 for two after 13.2 overs. When sub fielder, Tim Southee, completed an stunning outfield catch to help Franklin remove the in-form batman for 70 of 41 balls, the match started to turn with the BLACKCAPS not missing the opportunity to mount a counter attack.

It wasn’t wickets but tight bowling and hungry fielding that allowed the scoreboard pressure to build.  Franklin then displayed some last gasp heroics, holding his nerve to deliver a brilliant last over that went for 11 when 13 were required and also contained the vital wicket of Yuvraj Singh, bowled for 34

The effort was even more remarkable because of the fact the team lost Kyle Mills through injury.  Mills was the best bowler, taking two for 17 off three overs before he an ugly outfield collision with McCullum saw him helped from the field.   Franklin stepped up, bowling the last four overs on the trot, finishing with two for 26.

Irfan Pathan was India’s best, snaring Guptill (1), McCullum, Williamson to finish with three for 31 while Zaheer Khan picked up Nicol (0) and Lakshmipathy Balaji  removed James Franklin for (1).

The victory handed New Zealand a 1-0 series win after the first match was rained out.  McCullum's picked up the man-of-the-series award for his contribution.


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