NZ vs Ind 2nd T20: Rohit, Pant star in India’s series-levelling win

Auckland: Rohit Sharma-led India put up an all-round performance as India defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the second T20I here on Friday. 

The three-match series is now level at 1-1.

With the target being 159, Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan put up a 79-run stand for the first wicket.

The captain was the first to depart after notching up his 16th T20I fifty, while Dhawan followed him back in the pavilion having been dismissed by Lockie Ferguson.

Rohit, who slammed his 100th six in T20Is, also overtook Martin Guptill to become the highest run-getter in T20Is.

While Vijay Shankar’s (14) stint at the crease was short-lived, Rishabh Pant (40) and MS Dhoni (20) remained unbeaten to ensure that the visitors would cross the finish line with seven balls to spare.

India 118-3 after 13.4 overs

WICKET! A slower delivery by Daryl Mitchell as Tim Southee completes the catch at deep mid-wicket to see off Vjay Shankar.

India 88-2 after 10.5 overs

WICKET! De Grandhomme does no mistake at backward point as Shikhar Dhawan falls for 30 as Lockie Ferguson celebrates his wicket.

India 79-1 after 9.2 overs

WICKET! Rohit Sharma departs just after scoring his 16th T20I fifty.

New Zealand innings

Colin de Grandhomme scored his maiden T20I fifty but Krunal Pandya’s spell of 3/28 from four overs helped India to restrict New Zealand to 158-8 in the second T20I on Friday.

While the top-order failed to produce big scores, it was Grandhomme and Ross Taylor ‘s (42) partnership of 77 which guided the hosts to a respectable total.

However, it was an all-round show by the Indian bowlers as Khaleel Ahmed finished with two wickets, whereas Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got one each.

New Zealand 127-5 after 15.4 overs

WICKET! End of an entertaining knock as Hardik Pandya removes Colin de Grandhomme for 50. NZ 127/5.

New Zealand 50-4 after 7.5 overs

LBW! Krunal Pandya is on a roll! He removes Kane Williamson for 20.

New Zealand 43-3 after 6 overs

LBW! Another one bites the dust. This time it Daryl Mitchell who goes for 1. Krunal Pandya has now taken two wickets in his very first over. NZ 43/3.

New Zealand 41-2 after 5.2 overs

CAUGHT! Krunal Pandya strikes in his first over as he removes the dangerous Colin Munro for 12.

New Zealand 15-1 after 2.3 overs

WICKET! Bhuvneshwar Kumar strikes as he removes Tim Seifert who gets a thin inside edge towards Dhoni

Toss update

New Zealand have won the toss and opted to bat. Both the teams remain unchanged.

Preview

Hosts New Zealand came back to winning ways after crushing India in the first T20 on Wednesday, and they will look to seal the series in the second match here on Friday.

A match-winning knock by Tim Seifert and a successful spell by Tim Southee (3/17) guided the hosts to an 80-run win as the visitors suffered their heaviest-ever T20I defeat.

Seifert top-scored with 84 runs taking the Kiwis to 219-6. In reply, Dhoni top-scored for India with 39 runs as they were bundled out for 139.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar was promoted to number three and did alright with an 18-ball 27. It remains to be seen if he gets another shot at the same position or the team brings in Shubman Gill, who would be desperate to perform after the two failures in ODIs.

Meanwhile, the dangerous opening duo of Colin Munro and Seifert put the Indian pacers under tremendous pressure early on in the innings during the first match and dismissing them cheaply will be crucial for the visitors’ chances.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham.

The match starts at 11.30 AM IST.

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