Boult, Sodhi, Guptill shine for New Zealand, blow Team India away in a do-or-die game.
New Zealand 124 for 2 in 14.3 overs (Mitchell 49, Williamson 33*; Bumrah 2/19) defeat India 110 for 7 in 20 overs (Jadeja 26*, Pandya 23; Boult 3/20, Sodhi 2/17) 8 wickets
India and New Zealand clashed in the 28th game of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in a virtually do-or-die encounter of the Super 12 round at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, October 31.
The Dubai pitch has mostly been biased towards the chasing team as was the case most recently witnessed in the one-sided clash of the arch-rivals Australia and England at the stadium.
To begin with, the stars aligned well for the Kiwis as skipper Kane Williamson won the toss to get the team to take driver’s seat by choosing to field first.
India set out to post a challenging total with a changed playing XI to rectify the errors which cost them their first game against their nemesis, Pakistan, in their opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Ishan Kishan came in place of the injured Suryakumar Yadav while Bhuvneshwar Kumar was swapped for Shardul Thakur. The batting order saw a significant change as captain Virat Kohli attempted to add a major surprise element in the game for their opponents by promoting youngster Ishan Kishan to the opening spot while hitman Rohit Sharma diverted from the usual pattern to step out at No. 3.
NZ pacers dismiss both Indian openers cheaply
For a change, India opened the innings with a new combination of Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul coming to the crease. New Zealand attack spearheaded by Tim Southee and Trent Boult opened the bowling. Boult conceded just a single off his first over followed by five runs in the 2nd over of Tim Southee.
Ishan Kishan opened his account in the third over with an uppish flick for a boundary over mid-wicket. However, he was dismissed in the same over by Trent Boult who was pitching one of the most miserly opening spells in the tournament. Kishan fended the ball deep into the hands of Daryl Mitchell on the leg side boundary and departed for just 4 runs.
Rohit Sharma came to the crease at one down and was lucky to be dropped on the first ball off Trent Boult’s delivery. He flicked the ball towards long leg and was dropped by his Mumbai Indians teammate Adam Milne. The Hitman cracked two boundaries and a six off Milne’s over, thereby putting more pressure on him after the dropped catch.
Howewver, the joy was shortlived as India suffered a second loss on the final ball of the powerplay overs with Tim Southee striking in his second over. He dismissed KL Rahul getting him caught at deep backward square leg for just 18 runs and restricted India to 35/2 at the end of powerplay.
NZ bowlers continue to strangle India’s batting
In a matter of a few more deliveries, India lost their third wicket, this time of the dangerous looking Rohit Sharma as Ish Sodhi, riding on his golden run, inflicted the third damage to India. With Rohit’s departure (14), India were struggling at 40/3 after 7.4 overs and with this predicament the management’s experiment of playing Kishan as an opener at the cost of shuffling the batting position of three batters came to a premature end.
Pressure mounted on India’s skipper Virat Kohli who came in at number 4 and he too didn’t survive for long and was eventually dismissed by Ish Sodhi after playing 17-odd deliveries and managing just 9 runs off those.
The entire Indian batting was overshadowed by the exemplary bowling performance by the Kiwis who deprived them of boundaries for 70-odd deliveries. Hardik Pandya broke through that jinx and hit the first boundary after 70 deliveries in the 17th over. He was also dismissed for 23 runs after a sluggish innings as Trent Boult inched towards his 50th wicket in T20Is.
Ravindra Jadeja remained the highest scorer for India with an unbeaten 25* off 19 balls and also sailed the Indian innings to 100+ and settled for 110/7 in 20 overs.
Unlike India, NZ off to a roaring start
Chasing a meagre 111 runs in 20 overs, NZ openers gave a roaring start to their side. NZ, however, lost Martin Guptill (20) at the team score of 24 in the 4th over. Jasprit Bumrah ignited some hopes for the Indian fans in the stadium on what had become a funeral-like atmosphere after India’s innings.
However, Daryl Mitchell spearheaded the chase by smacking the Indian bowlers all over the ground. After Guptill’s dismissal, he paired up with skipper Kane Williamson and aggregated 44 runs in the powerplay. He further continued the onslaught on the Indian bowlers with as many as four boundaries and three sixes. He smacked Ravindra Jadeja for 14 runs in the 6th over and as many runs against Shardul Thakur in the 10th over.
Mitchell and Williamson added 72 runs for the 3rd wicket before Bumrah struck for his second wicket in the game. He dismissed Mitchell for 49 runs as the latter missed his well-deserved maiden half-century in the T20Is.
NZ needed 15 more runs with 8 wickets in hand at that juncture and with Williamson still on the field batting at 22*, it was a cakewalk for the Kiwis. The NZ skipper took his side home to a clinical win, and also their first win of the Super 12 stage.
Much to ponder for Team India who are virtually out of contention for a SF place
Jasprit Bumrah, by taking 2/19 in four overs, finished as India’s only successful bowler in the match. Overall, the Indian side looked clueless with their approach in the game and that becomes the only probable reason behind their consecutive losses in the tournament. The team’s overall intent doesn’t shape up to be a pleasing sign going forward in the tournament.
The management, including the players, would definitely have to undertake a scrutiny of their performances in the last two outings. That’s the only way they could go about in the tournament with some confidence, especially considering that they are pitted against the in-form Afghanistan on November 3 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Player of the match
Ish Sodhi turned the tables for his side by dismissing the dangerous looking Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. He became the player of the match for his miserly spell of 2/17 in four overs. He is now the leading wicket-taker for New Zealand against India in T20Is.
Stats and Facts
- India has remained winless against New Zealand in World Cup tournaments for the last 18 years. They last defeated New Zealand in the WC in 2003 at Centurion where India won by 7 wickets.
- Ish Sodhi is the leading wicket-taker against India in T20Is (19 wickets in 13 matches). He has picked 19 wickets in just nine games in T20Is in 2021 so far.
- Rohit Sharma vs NZ in T20Is - 352 runs in 14 innings, including four half-centuries and a top score of 80.
- Trent Boult completed 50 wickets in T20Is after dismissing Shardul Thakur for a duck. He is the fastest NZ bowler to take 50 wickets in T20Is getting to the milestone in 36 matches, bettering Mitchell Santner’s record in 40 outings.
- The total of 110/7 is the second-lowest tally registered by India in T20 World Cups. They were all out on 79 against New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016.
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