T20I: Dominant India Pocket Series Against New Zealand

Story Highlights
  • India wrapped up the series with a 7-wicket win against New Zealand on Friday.
  • KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma made 117-run partnership.
  • India made total 154 runs amid dewy conditions.

Ranchi: Soon after winning his second consecutive toss, India’s T20 captain Rohit Sharma didn’t have any hesitation in asking New Zealand to bat. At a venue where dew starts falling quite early after sunset, that was a wise and automatic choice. Rohit was helped by his bowlers, who made a superb comeback after the Powerplay to restrict New Zealand to a modest total. Rohit also made it clear with the toss that chasing is always better in this format, especially where dew is likely to play an important factor. He was proved right as India chased 154 with ease in T20 International here at JSCA International Stadium on Friday.

The victory meant India clinched the 3-match series before the third T20I in Kolkata. It was the first series win under the new Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid captain-coach partnership. Having restricted the Kiwis to a modest 153/6 due to some excellent bowling display by Harshal Patel (2-25) and the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, India struck down the target with 16 balls to spare, reaching 155/3 – thereby winning the match by 7 wickets. Rohit continued his run scoring form, smashing 55 off 36 balls (1 four, 5 sixes), and shared a 117-run opening stand with KL Rahul, who was the top-scorer of the match with a fluent 65 off 49 balls (6 fours, 2 sixes).

Next over, it was time for KL Rahul to bring up his fifty, as he hit a 4 and 6 off, Adam Milne. By the time Rohit and Rahul went back to the pavilion, much of the job was completed. Suryakumar Yadav lasted only two balls, but Rishabh Pant showed his flamboyance to finish off the game with two 6’s in front of a jam-packed stadium at Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home ground. In bowling, Harshal Patel did the star turn. The RCB bowler’s standout performance in the middle as well as the death overs, coupled with in-form Ashwin’s miserly 1-19 and Axar Patel’s 1-26, helped India restrict New Zealand after the visitors had raced to 64/1 in the Powerplay.

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