New Zealand have come within touching distance of one-day international history in their series-deciding match against India at Kanpur.

They lost by six runs, chasing 338 for victory.

The Black Caps were thwarted late after holding the momentum with 26 runs required from 14 balls.

Tom Latham played an exemplary ODI chasing innings, given the gargantuan target. He exited for 65 off 52 balls after a run out mix-up with Colin de Grandhomme when India, and particularly MS Dhoni and bowler Jasprit Bumrah, held their nerve.

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With two balls left New Zealand still had an opportunity to secure their highest ODI chase overseas. Twelve runs were required, but death-bowling specialist Bumrah was equal to the task on his way to figures of three wickets for 47.

Regardless, Latham's morphing from a specialist test opener to a middle-order limited overs wicketkeeper-batsman is a contender for selection masterstroke of the year.

The New Zealand chase was built on the pillars of three partnerships.

Colin Munro and Kane Williamson put on 109 for the second wicket after coming together in the sixth over. Their partnership followed a start which included 19 runs from the first over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (18 courtesy on Munro).

Munro's 75 came from 62 balls as he further established his credentials as an opening option. He demonstrated his customary aggression against pace, but perhaps his best attribute came when dealing with spin. The left-hander appeared to play balls on their merit off the pitch rather than through the air but his grit ensured a decent tenure before succumbing through the gate to a Yuzvendra Chahal leg break.

Williamson returned to form compiling 64 off 84 balls before Chahal's turn induced him to launch a skyer which MS Dhoni wrapped in gloves.

A foundation was built at 168 for three in the 29th over but the run rate tipped beyond eight-an-over for the first time. However, in the Twenty20 age, the demand for 170 runs from 21.2 overs is always within reason.

Cue Taylor and Latham. Their form, posting a record stand of 200 for any wicket against India in the first match, again proved valuable with a 79-run stand.

Both worked the ball patiently for singles and peppered the boundary as required.

Taylor's pedigree for such occasions is well-documented whether donning black or white in the middle order as he carved 39 off 47 balls.

When Taylor exited, Nicholls upped the cadence, contributing 37 run cameo from 24 balls in a fifth-wicket stand of 59 off 40 balls with Latham.

A 230-run second-wicket partnership between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli provided the spine to the hosts' 337 for six.

That left New Zealand with a stern task to win their maiden one-day international series in India from six attempts across 29 years.

The previous best score in 14 ODIs at the Kanpur venue was South Africa's 303 for five in October 2015. India fell five runs short in pursuit.

The Black Caps won the toss and Tim Southee forced Shikhar Dhawan to lob a catch to captain Williamson at mid-off. The hosts were 29 for one in the seventh over.

The visitors' good fortune ended there.

New Zealand's fielding was accurate, other than a high-five mishap between Southee and Taylor upon the fall of Dhawan's wicket.

Their bowling was satisfactory, albeit offering too much width on occasion, but Sharma and Kohli's stroke-making was of the highest calibre. False shots were rare from the two leading ODI run-scorers of 2017.

In the 35th over, long after the partnership's entrenchment, de Grandhomme had a chance for a stumping and a caught and bowled off Kohli. Neither opportunity came to fruition. Kohli got his foot back before Latham whipped the bails off, and the return catch to de Grandhomme bounced first.

Elsewhere, only the odd hint of a run out calamity offered an incentive as the runs mounted.

Sharma was languid placing the ball around one of the bigger Indian grounds on his way to 147 off 138 balls. The innings could have been misconstrued as an open-wicket practice, such was his nonchalance.

Highlights included Adam Milne dropping fractionally short and getting pulled for six in the 10th over; Sharma freed his arms to flay de Grandhomme through cover to start the 19th; and he swept with precision.

Kohli made his 32nd ODI century, reaching 113 from 106 balls with customary supple wrists before holing out to Williamson at long-off from Southee. Kohli was particularly elegant leaning on the ball to drive through the legside. When he reached 83, the Indian captain became the quickest player to reach 9000 ODI runs. He did so in 194 innings, eclipsing the previous best of 205 set by AB de Villiers in February.

Sharma eventually miscued a lofted drive to Southee at deep mid-off from Santner in the 42nd over. Hardik Pandya went in the same fashion 14 runs and 12 balls later in an over where Santner conceded just three runs. That restricted the run-rate briefly.

Santner finished with the best New Zealand bowling figures of two for 58 from 10 overs.

The series continues with three T20s. The first is on Wednesday in Delhi.