India have taken a 4-0 lead in the 5-match T20I series against New Zealand after yet another win in yet another Super Over in the 4th T20I in Wellington on Friday.
Playing without skipper Kane Williamson, out with a shoulder injury, New Zealand elected to field first after stand-in captain Tim Southee won the toss.
With the series in the bag, India rested Rohit Sharma, Mohd Shami nd Ravindra Jadeja and brought in Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar and Navdeep.
Samson squandered a golden opportunity to shine abroad by falling in the second over itself - out for 8 off 5 balls.
Virat Kohli looked set to trouble the Kiwis, but a great by Mitchell Santner sent the Indian skipper back to the hut for 11 off 9 balls.
When Shreyas Iyer (1 off 7 balls) fell two overs later, India at 52/3 in 6.3 overs looked like they wouldn’t manage to get a great total on the ball.
KL Rahul played a solid knock of 39 off 26 balls but he was gone before 10 overs had been bowled. India at 75/4.
Shivam Dube (12 off 9 balls) and Washington Sundar (0 off 3 balls) fell within a couple of overs of each other as India struggled at 88/6 in the 12th over.
But in T20 cricket, change is the only constant. And it was a calm and calculated innings by Manish Pandey that changed India’s fortunes.
A well-made unbeaten half century by Pandey, assisted by a quickfire 20 of 15 balls bby Shardul Thakur took India to a very respectable total of 165/8 in 20 overs.
New Zealand’s chase began poorly with Martin Guptill out in the fifth over.
But it was Colin Munro and Tim Seifert who led the charge for the Kiwis. Munro smashed the Indian bowlers around, going after Sundar particularly, and scored a 38-ball half century.
At the other end, Seifert took a little time to settle but soon had the scoreboard ticking over quickly.
The first blow for the hosts came when Munro was run out in the 12th over, New Zealand 96/2.
India struck again in the very next over, Yuzvendra Chahal bowling Tom Bruce for a duck.
With not a large total to chase, it still seemed like New Zealand would pull off the win. But they struggled to up the scoring as the Indian bowlers clamped down on the run rate.
It eventually came down to 7 runs needed of 6 balls with 7 wickets in hand. The highly experienced Ross Taylor was on strike and the match seemed in the bag for the hosts.
That’s when Shardul Thakur produced a magical over - one that saw New Zealand lose 4 wickets in the space of 6 balls to push the second consecutive match to a Super Over finish.
New Zealand sent out their two half-centurions of the match Munro and Seifert to face Jasprit Bumrah. In the previous T20I the hosts managed 17 runs in their Super Over. In Wellington on Friday, they just about managed 13 and that too as Rahul and Iyer failed to hold on to catches.
Kohli and Rahul stepped out to play India’s Super Over, needing 14 runs to win.
Southee began proceedings by being smashed for 10 runs off the first two balls. He managed to snag the wicket of Rahul the next ball but Kohli and Samson took India home to go 4-0 up in the series.