The fifth and final ODI between India and New Zealand is underway at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Winning the toss and batting first, India had their backs facing the wall after being down to 18/4 in their first 10 overs. Vijay Shankar and Ambati Rayudu helped India get back on track with an excellent 98 run stand for the fourth wicket before Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav provided the final flourish to take the Indian total past 250.
Coming in to bat at number 8, Pandya played an excellent hand to provide the much-needed impetus to the men in blue towards the end of their innings. The all-rounder smashed two fours and five sixes in his cameo of 45 runs off just 22 balls to take India total to a competitive 252. Three of his five sixes came off consecutive balls inn the 47th over of the innings bowled by Todd Asle.
Asle, who had bowled four overs for 17 runs until that point, bowled a dot delivery on the first ball of the over. The second ball however was a short one inviting Pandya to go for the big hit. Pandya needed no second invitation and smashed it into the stands over wide long on. The next ball was a fuller delivery from Asle and Pandya went for it once again but ended up slicing it this time around. The power of Pandya and the intensity of his swing however took the ball all the way.
Asle bowled the next delivery onto his pads and Pandya got down on one knee and unleashed the slog sweep into the stands to complete a hattrick of sixes. It was a powerful hit into the stands from Pandya and New Zealand were left with absolutely no clue as to how to stop the big hits from the Indian batsmen. This was the fourth time Pandya has hit 3 sixes off 3 balls in ODIs after having hit Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Adam Zampa for three consecutive sixes earlier.
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