India went 2-0 up in the ongoing T20 series against New Zealand. The win for the Men in Blue means that India have already won the series, with still a match remaining.
Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma put on a brilliant partnership of 117 runs along with some excellent death bowling that helped India in winning the 2nd T20. Both the openers scored their 50s with excellent stroke play.
The target was a tricky one and needed a proper plan, but it became very easy how the openers approached it. Although towards the end a few wickets fell but the chase remained unaffected as India crossed the line with 16 balls left.
Rohit Sharma, the new Indian T20 captain, won his second consecutive toss. However, India did not have a great start with the ball. While New Zealand’s opener Martin Guptill came out with all guns blazing as he scored 31 off just 15 balls.
The powerplay went totally in New Zealand‘s favor, as they ended the 6 overs spell with 64 runs on the board. However, veteran spinner R Ashwin along with Axar Patel and Harshal Patel pulled things back and restricted the Kiwis to a total of 153 runs which was easily chased down by the Indian batters.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar started the preceding of the match. But to Kumar’s disappointment, he was not rewarded as Martin Guptill scored 16 runs in the first over itself.
After the first over, the liveliness of the pitch disappeared and with dew coming even before the match, the conditions became favorable for batsmen. The ball was coming to the bat nicely and it was pretty easy to hit the ball through the line.
Guptill was the one who attacked the most as he hit two beautiful straight sixes. However, after hitting a six on the very next ball, he was dismissed by Deepak Chahar. When Guptill went back to the pavilion the scoreboard read as 48 for 1 in 4.2 overs.
The start of stagnation turned out to be a series winner for India
The power play ended with New Zealand’s scoreboard displaying 62 for 1. The way New Zealand played in the power play it looked like they would target a score of 180 to 200. However, with some superb bowling and some assistance from the pitch Indian bowlers restricted the Kiwis way short of their target.
Ashwin as always was excellent with the ball in his hand. He bowled with a great line, length and control which led to made it very tough for the Kiwi batters to score runs off. Ashwin ended his spell with figures of 1 for 19. It is to be noted that since his comeback into the side he had bowled a total of 71 balls to the right-hand side conceding just 51 runs and zero boundaries.
Meanwhile, debutant Harshal Patel continued his good form of the IPL at the international level as well. The Purple Cap holder was exceptional with his slow balls. He took the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Philips and ended the match with a figure of 2 for 25 in four overs.
After an explosive start in the power play, the batting of New Zealand became dormant. They scored just 89 runs of the last 14 overs as none of the batsmen was able to continue the flow of the runs. This ultimately led to their score of just 153.
Calm and composed batting won the series for India
As the target was not much, both Indian batsmen started slowly. This ultimately helped them access the conditions of the pitch properly. India were 45 for 0 after the end of the powerplay.
After that, the spin bowlers bowled another three overs without any boundaries. But it was enough for the Hitman as in the very next over he took on Mitchell Santner and hit two sixes. However, Rohit survived with luck as he was dropped by Boult in the same over.
After that, both the openers took on Milne and Boult for 26 runs in the following couple of overs. This change in gears brought the equation to almost run a ball after that.
Almost a collapse
As the pitch was assisting slow balls. The Kiwis captain came into the attack and took the wicket of Rahul as he went for a big one. In the very next over of Southee, an awkward slow ball was the reason behind the wicket of Rohit as he was caught in the short cover.
In the same over the hero of the previous match, Suryakumar Yadav went back to the pavilion as well. At this point, India needed 17 runs in 24 balls with two new batsmen on the pitch.
As India almost messed up a run chase in the previous match almost in the same way. The situation became tense. Moreover, Venkatesh Iyer who was promoted on no 3 seemed nervy.
Somehow he managed to get two fours with edges in the 17th over. In the 18th over Pant did not let the match go deeper as he hit two back to back sixes of Neesham’s bowling taking India over the line in style. Thus, with this, India won the series after their disappointing exit in the World Cup.
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