Seven Wickets victory at the Second T20 International last night
Auckland, January 27, 2020
NDTV Sports Report:
K L Rahul and Shreyas Iyer starred with the bat as India beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) in Auckland to go 2-0 up in the five-match series on Sunday, November 26, 2020.
Chasing a moderate total, India suffered two early blows as they lost Rohit Sharma and Skipper Virat Kohli inside the powerplay.
Tim Southee provided New Zealand with the breakthrough in the first over itself when he got Rohit Sharma caught in the slip. After Rohit’s dismissal, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul — heroes of the last game — came together but couldn’t weave the same magic as the Indian skipper got out after edging a wayward leg-stump delivery straight to the wicket-keeper after scoring 11 runs off 12 balls.
At the time, the momentum was with the hosts as they had negated two of India’s best batsmen by sending them back to the pavilion.
However, Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, half-centurions from the previous game, batted with great maturity to bail India out of a spot of bother and kept New Zealand bowlers at bay.
Both of the them batted in extreme contrast to their swashbuckling knocks in the previous match to stitch a 86-run stand for the third wicket, pushing India ever so close to the target.
While Rahul (57 not out off 50 balls) scored his second consecutive fifty of the series, and 11th overall of his T20I career, Iyer fell six runs short of his half-century.
He threw his wicket away in an attempt to bring up his fifty with a glorious hit over the bowler’s head. He was caught by Tim Southee off the bowling off Ish Sodhi.
However, when Iyer departed there was not much left in the game and Shivam Dube finished things off in style with a six, with 15 balls left to play.
Player of the Match
Rahul was adjudged the player of the match for his match-winning fifty.
Earlier, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson once again won the toss and opted to bat.
Unlike the last game, Indian bowlers troubled New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro with their tight line and lengths, not allowing them to get off to an explosive start.
Guptill (33 off 20 balls), like last game, failed to convert his start into a big knock and fell on the last ball of the powerplay, with scoreboard reading 48/1.
Munro (26 off 25 balls) struggled to get going from the start and finally got out off the bowling of Shivam Dube in the ninth over.
The Jadeja spell
In the middle overs, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja spun a web around the New Zealand batsmen, making full use of his variations. He was the most economical bowler in the match and returned with figures of 2/18 in his four-over spell.
Ross Taylor (18 off 24 balls) and Tim Seifert (33 off 26) couldn’t provide the hosts with late fireworks which led to them finishing with a below par score at Eden Park.
Apart from Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were also on top of their game and bowled brilliantly in the death overs, helping India restrict New Zealand to 132/5.
Both the teams will now travel to Hamilton for the third T20I which will be played at Seddon Park on January 29, 2020.
What K L Rahul said
“Obviously different circumstances, the target was different, the pitch was a little different from what we played on a couple of days ago. So, I knew that I could not play the same way I played a couple days ago. I had a different responsibility today. We lost our senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli early; so, I had to stay in there and make sure that I finish the game. I think that the understanding of my game and how I am reading the situation and reading the game has gotten better for me. That helped me to be more consistent and I have always put the team ahead and thought about what the team requires at that moment. More often than not I have come up with the right shots and right answers so that’s been the mantra for my success in the last several T20s.”
“I think that we had another good performance today, especially with the ball. The bowlers stood up and took control of what we wanted to do out there. Sticking to one side of the wicket was a very good feature for us as a team to restrict a good New Zealand team to 132 which I think was below par. The low total led us to bat in that manner but we thought the pitch was good for 160 in the first half. We understood the angles of the field better, how the pitch was playing and I had to think on my feet as a captain. The ball gripped for the spinners and I think that Ravindra Jadeja was outstanding. Yuzvendra Singh Chahal was a banker. Jasprit Bumrah was amazing as well, and Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Shivam Dube making very good contributions with the ball but I think we backed it up in the field more importantly.”
Black Caps Skipper Kane Williamson
”It was a tough day. The wicket was quite different from the first game. I think as a batting unit we needed another 15 or 20 to make it a little bit more competitive. But credit to the way India bowled. They are a class side in all departments and they put us under pressure in that middle period. Even though we only had 130 on the board on a small ground, we still knew if we were able to take early wickets and build pressure like they did, then you never really know. But they showed their experience and took the game much deeper than we were able to in the first innings and they were very clinical.”