AUCKLAND: India’s bowlers highlighted the balance of their side as they set up an easy seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second Twenty20 international at Eden Park on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
KL Rahul (57 not out) and Shreyas Iyer (44) then marshalled the run chase as they helped their side to reach 135-3 with 15 balls to spare, chasing New Zealand’s 132-5. Shivam Dube (13 not out) hit a six from the bowling of Tim Southeein in the 18th over to ensure victory.
The hosts had posted an impressive 203-5 in the first game on Friday but were unable to repeat that on a pitch that had slowed down considerably in the intervening 48 hours and India’s bowlers put them under pressure throughout the innings.
Martin Guptill made 33 in a 48-run opening partnership with Colin Munro and Tim Seifert made an unbeaten 33 at the end of the innings but New Zealand weren’t able to reach a total that could stretch India’s deep batting lineup.
Rohit Sharma (8) and captain Virat Kohli (11) were out relatively cheaply but Rahul and Iyer sped India towards a comprehensive victory.
Dube came to the crease shortly before the end and quickly brought the match to a conclusion.
“I think we backed up the first match with a very good performance today, especially with the ball,” Kohli said. “We demanded that the bowlers stood up and took control of what we wanted to do out there.
“I think our line and length and the way we wanted to bowl on that wicket, sticking to one side of the wicket and being shorter was a very good feature of us as a team and helped us restrict a very good New Zealand team.”
Despite the comprehensive defeat for New Zealand, captain Kane Williamson stood by his decision to bat first.
“India were outstanding with the ball so it was tough,” he said. “But there’ve been good bits in both of these games without putting it all together. On a small ground we knew if we were able to take early wickets and try and build pressure, like they did, then you never know.”
For a brief moment at the start of the game, it looked as if Williamson may have made the right choice when Martin Guptill smacked sixes off consecutive deliveries from Shardul Thakur in the opening over.
But for much of the remainder of the innings it was the Indian bowlers who were in charge.
When Guptill was dismissed for 33 he had faced 20 deliveries and only scored off 10 of them.
Tim Seifert (33 not out) and Colin Munro (26) were the only other batsmen to pass 20, while bowling for India, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja had figures of two for 18 off his four overs.
Jasprit Bumrah with one for 21 and Mohammed Shami with none for 22 off their four overs were also miserly.
The third match in the series is in Hamilton on Wednesday.
M.J. Guptill c Kohli b Thakur 33
C. Munro c Kohli b Dube 26
K.S. Williamson c Chahal b Jadeja 14
C. de Grandhomme c and b Jadeja 3
L.R.P.L. Taylor c Sharma b Bumrah 18
T.L. Seifert not out 33
M.J. Santner not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-4) 5
TOTAL (for five wkts, 20 overs) 132
FALL OF WKTS: 1-48, 2-68, 3-74, 4-81, 5-125.
DID NOT BAT: T.G. Southee, I.S. Sodhi, B.M. Tickner, H.K. Bennett.
BOWLING: Thakur 2-0-21-1 (1w); Mohammed Shami 4-0-22-0; Bumrah 4-0-21-1; Chahal 4-0-33-0; Dube 2-0-16-1; Jadeja 4-0-18-2 (2w).
R.G. Sharma c Taylor b Southee 8
K.L. Rahul not out 57
V. Kohli c Seifert b Southee 11
S.S. Iyer c Southee b Sodhi 44
S. Dube not out 8
EXTRAS (W-7) 7
TOTAL (for three wkts, 17.3 overs) 135
FALL OF WKTS: 1-8, 2-39, 3-125.
DID NOT BAT: M.K. Pandey, R.A. Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, S.N. Thakur, Y.S. Chahal, J.J. Bumrah.
BOWLING: Southee 3.3-0-20-2; Bennett 3-0-29-0 (1w); Tickner 3-0-34-0; Santner 4-0-19-0 (2w); Sodhi 4-0-33-2 (2w).
RESULT: India won by seven wickets to lead five-match series 2-0.
UMPIRES: S.B. Haig (New Zealand) and C.M. Brown (New Zealand).
TV UMPIRE: A. Mehrotra (New Zealand).
MATCH REFEREE: B.C. Broad (England).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: K.L. Rahul.
FIRST MATCH: Auckland, India won by seven wickets.
THIRD MATCH: Hamilton (N), Jan 29.
FOURTH MATCH: Wellington (Westpac Stadium, N), Jan 31
FIFTH MATCH: Mount Maunganui (N), Feb 2.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020