Updated: Nov 20, 2021
Rohit, Rahul, Harshal help India take 2-0 unassailable lead in three-match series against New Zealand
India 155/3 in 17.2 overs (Rahul 65, Sharma 55; Southee 3/16) defeated New Zealand 153/6 in 20 overs (Phillips 34, Guptill 31; Patel 2/25; Ravi Ashwin 1/19) by 7 wickets
Having registered a sizzling five-wicket win in the 1st T20I face-off in Jaipur, Rohit Sharma and Co. are leading the series 1-0. The team entered the game looking to attain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
New Zealand, led by Tim Southee walked into the field with resolute of bouncing back in the series by registering their first victory.
A fortuitous Indian team riding high on confidence won the toss and elected to field first.
NZ get off to a dazzling start
Unlike the last game when NZ lost the opener Daryl Mitchell for a duck early on, this game saw the openers with a different approach. Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell kickstarted the innings by drilling Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 14 runs in the first over. The intention of both the batters was clear when Daryl Mitchell too opened his hands and smacked two consecutive boundaries against Deepak Chahar in the 2nd over.
Having seen NZ get 24 runs in just two overs called for a new plan of action and skipper Rohit Sharma introduced Axar Patel in the 3rd over. Axar conceded just 5 runs as NZ’s score was 29/0 after three overs. The next over, however, slid back in NZ’s favor as both Guptill and Mitchell yielded 13 runs of Bhuvenshwar Kumar’s over.
Deepak Chahar drew the first blood in the 5th over, dismissing the dangerous Guptill (31 runs), who whacked him for a six in the first ball but was caught at short fine leg in the following delivery. The dismissal was reminiscent of Guptill's dismissal in the 1st T20I when he blasted Chahar for a six and was dismissed with an appropriate gaze on the very next ball. Following Gutpill’s dismissal, new batter Mark Chapman entered the fray and paired with Mitchell, who was looking well on the other end. They scored another 16 runs to enable the side to make the most of the profitable powerplay as NZ’s score after 6 overs looked 64/1.
Indian bowlers tighten NZ’s noose
After the powerplay, skipper Rohit Sharma introduced the right-arm fast-medium bowler debutant, Harshal Patel. In his first over, the Harshal conceded only 5 runs and looked promising. The Indian skipper further used spinners Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin on both ends in the following overs. And that ploy seemed to have worked for India as Axar Patel got India's second breakthrough by dismissing Mark Chapman for 21 runs, following which New Zealand’s innings began to crumble. Despite a strong start from their openers, the Indian spinners managed to choke the run flow for New Zealand from then on.
The Blackcaps were hurt more when Harshal Patel took his maiden international wicket in the form of Tim Seifert, who departed for 13 runs off 15 deliveries, leaving NZ’s score to 125/1 after 15.1 overs. In the 17th over, Harshal struck again with a brilliantly ployed slower ball that Glenn Phillips, who was batting on 34 runs at the time, fended into the hands of substitute fielder Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was stationed at deep-backward square-leg.
After Phillips’ dismissal, NZ managed to add only 16 runs off the last 21 deliveries and posted 153/6 after 20 overs. The second-half of NZ’s innings was completely hijacked by the Indian bowlers who conceded 69 runs off the last 10 overs and took 4 wickets.
Rohit-Rahul put up a 117-run opening stand
Chasing 154 runs off 120 balls to seal the T20I series, the opening batters Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul got off to a flying start. They exploited the pitch conditions to their will, banking on the dew factor that saw the players using the towel to clean the ball after every delivery.
They attacked Tim Southee and Trent Boult for 8 runs respectively in the first two overs and kept India in the commanding position in the powerplay. As a result, the Indian team registered 45 runs for no loss in the powerplay after 6 overs.
The opening partnership crossed 50 runs in no time as the duo carried on with the carnage laced with sixes and fours in every over. KL Rahul reached his 16th fifty in style with a terrific sixer in the 11th over of Adam Milne’s delivery. He continued to beam as an opener following his fourth half-century in the last five innings. India’s score also crossed the 100-run mark, also the second 100-run opening stand between the two batters.
They added more 17 runs after the 100-run stand before NZ skipper Tim Southee struck and dismissed Rahul in the 14th over. India lost the first wicket at 117 runs following Rahul’s dismissal who got out trying to go for a big hit and got caught by Glenn Phillips at the deep-square leg for 65 runs.
Rohit Sharma on the other hand completed his 25th half-century in the T20Is following a six over the fine leg in the very next over. India needed 20 runs off 30 deliveries and 9 wickets in hand. However, Southee spoiled the party and got his second breakthrough of the game. He dismissed his counterpart Rohit Sharma for 55 runs, followed by another crucial wicket in the same over of Suryakumar Yadav (1 run).
India needed 17 runs in the last four overs which the new batsman Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer in the middle. Rishabh Pant hit the winning runs following two consecutive sixes and won the matches by 7 wickets and 16 balls to spare. The Indian team also sealed the three-match T20I series with a 2-0 lead and continued to exemplify their dominance in the home conditions.
IND vs NZ player of the match
Debutant Harshal Patel won the player of the match award following a remarkable debut spell wherein he took two wickets in four overs and conceded 25 runs. He continued from where he left in the IPL 2021 and remained the most economical pacer of the game.
IND vs NZ 2nd T20I Stats and facts
14 runs conceded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over is the highest by any Indian bowler in the T20I at home.
Martin Guptill surpassed Virat Kohli to become the leading run-getter in the T20Is. He has scored 3248 runs, while second in the list is Virat Kohli with 3227 runs.
64/1 is the highest powerplay score for New Zealand against India in the T20Is.
Axar Patel took his first international wicket in T20Is after 2017.
KL Rahul-Rohit Sharma pair have registered 463 runs for the opening stand in the last five outings in the T20Is. The highest opening stand between them is 140 runs against Afghanistan in the T20 WC 2021.
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