Mohali, Oct 23: 'King of chase' Virat Kohli struck an another unbeaten century as India defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets in the 3rd ODI here at IS Bindra stadium on Sunday (October 23).
Chasing a massive target of 286, Kohli - The Run Machine - slammed 154* and took India home comfortably in 48.2 overs. This was his 26th century in 174 ODIs.
It was 16th ocassion when the 27-year-old, Delhi boy, struck a ton while chasing a target. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is the only player ahead of Kohli who has slammed 17 centuries chasing.
Kohli now is only behind Sachin Tendulkar (49), Ricky Ponting (30) and Sanath Jayasuriya (28) in terms of hundreds.
Skipper MS Dhoni also played a memorable knock and scored 80 to help the side take 2-1 lead over Kiwis in the 5-ODI series. Kohli shared a 151-run stand with the captain for the fourth wicket to lay the foundation of Indian run chase.
The show was dominated by right-hander Kohli, who hit 16 fours and a six as he and Manish Pandey (28) shared an unbeaten 97-run stand before taking India home.
Rohit Sharma (13) and Ajinkya Rahane (5) were the only batsmen, other than Dhoni, to depart. It was a day of records for Dhoni, who not only became the fifth Indian to complete 9,000 ODI career runs during his 61st fifty but also became the first wicket-keeper to effect 150 stumping dismissals.
However, Dhoni's start to the day as a captain was not as bright as he would have expected as the visitors looked good from the beginning after being asked to bat on a pacy wicket.
Earlier, New Zealand were all out for 285 in 49.4 overs in the third one day international match against India.
Jimmy Neesham and Matt Henry shared a blistering 84-run stand for the 9th wicket to help New Zealand post 285 after Indian spinners reduced the visitors to a precarious 199 for 8.
New Zealand were set for their first 300 plus total of the series after Tom Latham (61) and Ross Taylor (44) laid the foundation with a solid 73-run stand for the third wicket.
Taylor's dismissal led to a flurry of wickets though New Zealand still managed to reach close to the 300 milestone, thanks to a valiant partnership between Neesham (57 off 47) and Henry (39 not out off 37).
It seemed New Zealand would not last even 40 overs after slumping from a promising 152 for two, before Neesham and Matt Henry brought the game alive.
For India, Amit Mishra and Kedar Jadhav were among the wickets again, taking two and three respectively. Pacer Umesh Yadav scalped three wickets as well but proved expensive, giving away 75 runs in 10 overs.
Here, after losing their seventh straight toss on the tour, New Zealand were expectedly put in to bat by India captain MS Dhoni considering the dew factor.
With the ball coming nicely on to the bat, New Zealand were off to their best start of the series coasting to 64 for one in 10 overs.
If the visitors were to pose a challenging for the hosts, it was imperative that senior batsmen, opener Martin Guptill (27) and Taylor, struck some form.
Guptill, who had 171 runs in eight innings on this tour prior to today, began on a promising note.
He hit Umesh Yadav on the up for a cracking four through point before dispatching Hardik Pandya for a comfortable six over long on. The opener followed it up with another straight six over extra cover and a slash through point in Pandya's subsequent over.
The in-form Latham was batting patiently at the other end. He got into the act by pulling Yadav for a six. And just when it seemed Guptill was set to end his barren run, Yadav trapped him in front of the stumps with a fuller length ball that moved in sharply.
Skipper Kane Williamson (22) joined Latham in the middle and got off the mark with a gentle push past mid-on.
High on confidence after scoring a fluent hundred in Delhi, Williamson looked in fine form until he failed to spot a straighter one off part-time spinner Jadhav to leave his team at 80 for two in 13 overs.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Santner, Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Matt Henry.
(With inputs from agencies)