India kept the hope alive of T20I series win by registering a comfortable 7-wicket win in the second T20 International match against New Zealand at Auckland on Friday. 


New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Seifert and Munro started the innings. New Zealand were looking for a flying start but they didn’t get the start. Only when Seifert started hitting big, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and India quickly got rid of him. Tim Seifert, who scored 84 in the first game, scored a boundary and an over-boundary before getting dismissed.

Then it was Krunal Pandya, who struck twice in his first over. He first took Colin Munro, who tried to cover the in-field but failed to do so. The catch came at a great pace towards Rohit Sharma at the cover, who took that easily. On the last ball of the over, he trapped Daryl Mitchell before the stumps.

New Zealand captain Williamson became the third victim of Krunal Pandya in the eighth over. Williamson got dismissed after scoring 20 off 17 and New Zealand were reduced to 60/4 after 10 overs.

Then, all-rounder, Colin de Grandhomme came to his side’s rescue, smashed his maiden T20I half-century off 27 balls which included four sixes and one boundary. He, along with Ross Taylor anchored the innings till 15.4 overs. Both of them added 77-run before de Grandhomme misjudged the delivery and ended up giving an easy catch to Rohit Sharma at extra cover.

Krunal Pandya was the pick of bowlers, ending the innings with 3/28. Left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed finished with figures of 2/27 as the tourists were successful in stopping the hosts from exploiting Eden Park’s short boundaries.

Then Taylor and Mitchell Santner tried to steady the ship and both added 26 runs. Before they could move further, Vijay Shankar’s direct throw from the deep sent Taylor back in the pavilion. Later Khaleel Ahmed picked two more wickets in the last over and New Zealand ended up scoring 158 after 20 overs.

Krunal Pandya bagged 3 wickets while Khaleel Ahmed took two. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya scalped one each for India.

Chasing 159, India got off to a flying start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan stated the innings at full pace and started dealing with boundaries and over-boundaries. In the 4th over when Rohit hit Kuggeleijn for a six at fine-leg, he completed his 100th six in T20Is.

Currently, he is placed second of hitting sixes (102). Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle are ahead of him with 103 sixes. He reached his 16th T20 half-century in the 9th over. With this, he became the highest run-scorer in T20I as well as the most 50+ scorer in the shortest format of the game.

But his stormy 50 off 29 came to an end when he got dismissed off Ish Sodhi. Dhawan, at the other end, was looking not much comfortable and scored only 30 off 31 with two boundaries before getting out. Earlier, both the openers added 79-run partnership, which became the Most partnership runs (1480).

Rishabh Pant came to bat at No. 3 today and tried to build a partnership with Vijay Shankar; who scored one boundary and a six in his 8-ball 14. Vijay Shankar’s dismissal brought MS Dhoni on the field. Both played with caution where Dhoni was rotating the strike and Pant was dealing with big shots. They both added 44-run through a steady association and ensured India’s win with 7 balls to spare.

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