Christchurch: Ishan Kishan was left stranded on an unbeaten 71 as India A lost four wickets in nine balls to suffer a narrow five-run defeat in the deciding third ODI against New Zealand A on Sunday.
Chasing 271 for a series-win, India A needed seven runs from the final over with two wickets in hand but wicketkeeper-batsman Kishan took a single off the second ball after playing a dot to expose the tail.
It proved quite costly as pacer Kyle Jamieson (4/49) knocked off Sandeep Warrier and Ishan Porel off consecutive balls to end the match with two balls to spare.
In the 49th over, India A lost well-set Axar Patel (32) and Rahul Chahar (0) to left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, as New Zealand snatched the momentum when it mattered the most.
India had got off to a good start with young opener Prithvi Shaw (55) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (44) putting on a confident 79-run stand for the opening wicket. Skipper Mayank Agarwal (22) got a start but could not convert it into a big knock.
After the top three, only Kishan and Axar offered resistance as Suryakumar Yadav (5) and Vijay Shankar (19) could not last long.
New Zealand A's left-arm spin duo of Ajaz Patel (3/44) and Rachit Ravindra (2/43) did considerable damage to India's middle and lower order.
It was Mark Chapman, who got New Zealand back into the match with an unbeaten 110-run knock.
India had reduced the host to 68 for four and then 105 for six at one stage with dismissals at regular intervals but Chapman and Todd Astle (56) raised a 136-run partnership for the seventh wicket to put up a fighting total.
India A had won the opening ODI by five wickets while New Zealand rallied to win the next before clinching the series with Sunday's victory.
The two teams will now play a two-match Test series, beginning in Christchurch from 30 January.
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Patel said England expect the fourth and final Test pitch, starting on Thursday, to also be a spinning track but said the visitors are eager to punch back from the two straight losses.
The 22-year-old left-handed Kishan single-handedly tore apart the MP attack, striking 19 fours and 11 sixes in his knock.
Devdutt Padikkal had the company of his skipper Ravikumar Samarth, who also slammed an unbeaten century (130 not out from 118 balls; 17x4) as the opening duo raced to the 285-run target win with 57 balls to spare at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.