New Zealand put in a marginally improved performance in the third one-day international on Monday, 28 January, but there was no stopping India, who took a 3-0 lead to wrap up the five-match series with two games to go.

Perhaps things might have been different for the home side had they built on the foundation laid by Ross Taylor. He came good with a 106-ball 93, but apart from Tom Latham, who scored a half-century, the rest of the batting disappointed.

New Zealand’s total of 243 was sub-par at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, the same venue where India had scored 324 in the second ODI. With Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma scoring half-centuries, the chase was completed in 43 overs for a seven-wicket win.

Among the positives for New Zealand was the fact that they didn’t concede a wicket to Kuldeep Yadav, their tormentor in the last match. But all of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/46), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/51), the excellent Mohammed Shami (3/41) and Hardik Pandya (2/45) – returning after suspension – made up for Yadav's lack of wickets.

The pacemen provided the early incision, with Bhuvneshwar and Shami sending back Martin Guptill (13) and Colin Munro (7) to leave New Zealand struggling at 26/2. Kane Williamson, the captain, walked in with good intentions of soaking in the pressure, but after 10 overs and a 48-ball 28, he fell to Chahal, although it was Pandya who was crucial to that wicket, taking a blinder at mid-wicket on a full dive.

It was then that Taylor and Latham got together. The two added 119 for the fourth wicket, and took care to avoid any rush of blood. Taylor, in particular, was cautious, as the duo helped New Zealand recover and took the team total past 100.

Among the positives for New Zealand was the fact that they didn’t concede a wicket to Kuldeep Yadav, their tormentor in the last match. But all of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/46), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/51), the excellent Mohammed Shami (3/41) and Hardik Pandya (2/45) – returning after suspension – made up for Yadav's lack of wickets.

The pacemen provided the early incision, with Bhuvneshwar and Shami sending back Martin Guptill (13) and Colin Munro (7) to leave New Zealand struggling at 26/2. Kane Williamson, the captain, walked in with good intentions of soaking in the pressure, but after 10 overs and a 48-ball 28, he fell to Chahal, although it was Pandya who was crucial to that wicket, taking a blinder at mid-wicket on a full dive.

It was then that Taylor and Latham got together. The two added 119 for the fourth wicket, and took care to avoid any rush of blood. Taylor, in particular, was cautious, as the duo helped New Zealand recover and took the team total past 100.

That was never going to trouble India. There were partnerships throughout the innings, with Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan putting on a quick 39 before Trent Boult had the southpaw fending at an out-swinger. That was as good as it got for New Zealand for a while.

Kohli and Rohit added 113 for the second wicket. The runs came regularly, boundaries were never a problem, and apart from Boult, none of the bowlers really threatened the batsmen.

Rohit, very early in the partnership, danced down the track and lofted Santner down the ground for six. It took him just 63 balls to get to his half-century, and he celebrated with another biggie, pulling Lockie Ferguson over square-leg.

 

Kohli mostly kept things along the ground at the other end, but when Ferguson attempted a bouncer, he managed to get enough on a hurried pull to send it over the ropes. He brought up his own fifty – an incredible 49th in ODIs – off 59 balls, but just when it seemed the two would carry on and finish the chase, Santner broke through.

An ugly heave from Rohit ended up with a fielder, and when Kohli was caught at short cover off Boult soon after, India lost their two set batsmen.

They needed 76 more runs at that point, and in Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu, they were in safe hands. The pair found the fence regularly, added 77*, and the chase was wrapped up with minimum fuss.