NAPIER, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand and India shared a rare tie Tuesday when the third Twenty20 cricket international was stopped by rain with the teams perfectly level under the Duckworth Lewis system.
India won the rain-affected series 1-0.
Half centuries by Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips allowed New Zealand to overcome a late batting collapse to reach 160 batting first. India was 75-4 after nine overs, perfectly level with New Zealand, when rain — which had delayed the start of play by an hour — returned and ruled out any further possibility of play.
There have been 25 ties in the history of T20 cricket internationals but most have been resolved by super overs. Only one, between Malta and Gibraltar last year, had resulted in a tie under the Duckworth Lewis system with the team batting second on par with its opponent.
For a moment on Tuesday, the rain eased and the umpires hoped to squeeze in one over per side to decide the match. But the rain returned just as the covers were being lifted and stumps were called.
The match was heading for a fine finish when rain intervened.
Tim Southee, captain in the absence of Kane Williamson, chose to bat after winning the toss and New Zealand was in a strong position at 146-3 after Conway and Phillips put on 86.
But New Zealand lost its next six wickets for three runs in 11 balls to slump to 149-9 before its inning ended at 160 after 19.4 overs.
“I think it was a disappointing end with the bat but we spoke about going out there with the ball and giving it everything we could,” Southee said. “We knew that taking some early wickets, anything could happen but the Napier weather came again.
“It would have been an interesting game if it had gone the full 20. There was a bit of uncertainty over whether they had to be ahead of what was on the scoreboard or whether it was a tie but it’s all worked out in the end.”
Fast bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Siraj were outstanding for India, recognizing the key to success on the McLean Park wicket was to bowl short. Siraj took career-best figures of 4-17 and Arshdeep 4-37.
“The conditions suit me in New Zealand and I’m loving it,” Arshdeep said. “I’m just trying to improve with every match and get wickets early for the team.
“The plan was just to mix it up because the boundaries are not very long and we just wanted to play with the batsmen’s minds, just trying to mix it up with full ones, short ones and bouncers to make the batsman wonder what’s coming.”
New Zealand gave itself hope when it claimed the vital wicket of Suryakumar Yadav for 13 when India was 60-4. Suryakumar showed why he is the world’s top-ranked batsmen when he scored an unbeaten 111 in the second match of the series on Sunday which India won by 65 runs. The first match of the series was washed out.
“We would have loved to have a full game tonight but it’s fine,” Suryakumar said.
Captain Hardik Pandya was disappointed with the way the match ended but happy his relatively young India team had won the series.
“Obviously we would have liked to win this game by playing the full overs,” he said. “But it is how it is and we don’t mind getting the trophy and going back with a win.”