CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand's pursuit of 220 runs against India got off to a strong start thanks to a 97-run opening stand between Finn Allen and Devon Conway. Rain abruptly ended Wednesday's third and final ODI between India and New Zealand at Hagley Oval after pacer Umran Malik knocked out Allen.
New Zealand currently leads by 50 runs using the DLS system and is at 104/1 in 18 overs. However, the second innings must contain 20 overs in order for the game to be considered complete. Even if the game is called off, New Zealand will win the series because they are up 1-0.
Allen and Conway started out cautiously in their attempt to chase down 220 runs, adding just 34 runs in the first eight overs as Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh kept them in check. Although Conway took some time to find his rhythm, Allen was the most aggressive of the two, setting some boundaries.
Conway then raised the stakes on his own by hitting four boundaries off Chahar in the 10th over, with a straight drive being the best shot. In the following over, Allen utilised Umran Malik's pace to strike back-to-back boundaries.
Allen reached fifty when he hit a flat-batted six against Washington Sundar over long-off. Allen attempted to reach out to a short ball after drawing Malik through fine leg in the 17th over, but toe-ended the cut to cover, ending the 97-run opening partnership as he was out for 57.
Conway then forced Arshdeep through deep mid-wicket before rain, for the second time in this series, halted play. Sundar, an all-rounder, earlier hit his first ODI fifty to lead India to a respectable 219 in 47.3 overs.