India recovered from a couple of early hic-cups to romp home in the final one-dayer against New Zealand by 8 wickets. Yuvraj Singh made an unbeaten 42 and Parthiv Patel was not out on 56. India reached the target of 104 in the 22nd over. New Zealand could put up too slight a fight after being bundled for 103. Local boy, R Ashwin got to take home the Man of the Match award for his 3/24.
The start to India's innings was almost as disastrous as New Zealand's. In just the third ball of the innings, spinner Nathan McCullum induced Gautam Gambhir into a fatal cut that ended up as an edge through to the keeper. India were 0/1. Captain Daniel Vettori decided to open the bowling with McCullum in tactic that paid off again. In the fourth over, Vettori got Kohli caught by Taylor at slip and India were 10/2 in 3.2 overs.
Then Yuvraj Singh and Parthiv Patel steadied the ship. In the 11th over, Yuvraj smacked McCullum for a four to take his side past 50. Sensing the end of the match was well in site, the batsmen quickly shifted gears with Patel lofting Vettori for a six in the 12th over, before Yuvraj went after McCullum in the next, getting him away for a four and then a six. Not to be outdone, Patel smacked Grant Elliot for a four next.
In the 20th over, Patel ran a three off Vettori to bring up his fifty and take India past the 100-run mark to place the score on par with New Zealand's. In the next over, Patel hit the winning four and the match and the series was over.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand's innings began on an unusual note, partly aggressive, partly disastrous. Praveen Kumar drew first blood by getting Martin Guptill caught behind for a duck. In next over, the other opener Brendon McCullum, counterattacked by getting Ashish Nehra away for three boundaries, one over midwickwet, one throuh point and one over extra cover. But Nehra returned in his following over to send back McCullum for 14 off 10 balls.
New Zealand were in trouble at 14/2 in 3.3 overs. Taylor tried to wrest back the initiative with a couple of fours, but he had played one shot too many when Nehra had him caught behind for 9 off 9 balls. New Zealand were tottering at 28/3 in 5.4 overs. A stabilising stand was in order with Jamie How and new batsmen Scott Styris at the crease.
In the 9th over, Nehra would have broken the partnership if Yusuf Pathan had not put a catch down off Styris at short extra cover. The pair did a suitable job rebuilding, knocking off one four in each of the 10th, 11th and 12th overs to move past 50. Spinner R Ashwin who was introduced in the 13th over, bowled a maiden straight up. But How and Styris began rebuilding well, reaching 66/3 in 15 overs.
Just when it looked like a recovery was in progress, Yuvraj bowled How for 23 off 42 and New Zealand were in shambles at 71/4 in 17.5 overs. James Franklin, the hero of New Zealand's last innings, was the next man to take guard. Then Ashwin came to the party, getting Styris lbw for 24 off 45 and New Zealand's middle order was going down with the score at 73/5 in 18.4 overs.
The new batsmen Grant Elliot, departed without troubling the scorers when he was given leg before to Yuvraj. New Zealand looked a desperate side at 74/6 in 19.4 overs. Captain courageous Daniel Vettori and James Franklin began picking up the pieces, but they were stopped short of their objective when Yusuf Pathan accounted for Vettori's wicket, with New Zealand in ruin at 91/7 in 23.1 overs. Seeing just one option left for him, Franklin took a six off Ashwin in the 25th over to take the score to 98/7. But the revival was short-lived Yuvraj and Ashwin polishing off the tail to bowl New Zealand out for 103 in 27 overs.