A dominant India registered a comfortable victory by 7 wickets against New Zealand in the second T20I at Eden Park. After restricting the hosts for only 132 runs, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul guided the side to an emphatic win and helped India to take 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The hosts won the toss and opted to bat first. It was a steady start for New Zealand with openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro putting up 48 runs together in the opening stand. Shardul Thakur brought the first breakthrough for India by removing the dangerous Guptill while Munro departed soon after courtesy of a great delivery from Shivam Dube.
The hosts lost their way after the good start and the Indian bowlers took the right advantage of it and managed to keep the run-rate below seven. Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowler for visitors, who picked up 2 wickets and only conceded 18 runs in two overs. Jasprit Bumrah also chipped in with one wicket and conceded only 21 runs.
With New Zealand struggling to accelerate in the death overs, Tim Seifert’s late cameo of 33 from 26 balls guided the Blackcaps to a fighting total of 132 runs with the loss of 5 wickets.
In reply, the visitors had a poor start to their chase as they lost their premium opener, Rohit Sharma early for 8. However, the in-form batsman KL Rahul started from where he left and played yet another brilliant knock of 57* from 50 balls. The Indian captain Virat Kohli also departed early for 11.
With 39 runs on the board and 2 wickets lost, the hosts were finding themselves back into the game before Shreyas Iyer built a solid partnership with the in-form Rahul. The duo took away the game completely from New Zealand with its steady partnership.
Shreyas dismissed for a well-made 44, but Rahul guided the side all the way to victory with his unbeaten knock of 57. Dube hit the winning the runs with a massive six in the 17th over to go 2-0 up in the five-match series. KL Rahul was named man of the match for his match-winning knock.
The Indian captain appreciated his bowling department for restricting New Zealand to a small total and also insisted he is up for the challenge in the next game to grab the series.
“I think we backed it up with another good performance. The bowlers stood up and took control. It was a very good feature for us as a team. That helped us to restrict New Zealand to such a low total. We understood the angles of the field better. The surface gripped a bit. When you have a complete performance like that, it helps. This same side has won us two games. We need to bring our A-game again and we are up for the challenge,” Kohli said.
On the other hand, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted it was a tough day for them and insisted that his side were 15-20 runs short in this tricky track.
“It was a tough day. We needed 15-20 runs more. Credit to the Indian bowlers the way they restricted us. I need to bat a little better perhaps. We needed to take a couple of wickets on the sluggish wicket. We were probably 15-20 runs than where we wanted to be. We need to be better in the next match. We need to keep moving forward as a group as we’re up against a tough side like India,” Williamson said.
NZ 132/5 (20 ov) | Guptill 33*, Seifert 33* | Bumrah 1/21, Jadeja 2/18
IND 135/3 (17.3 ov) | KL Rahul 57*, Iyer 44 | Southee 2/20, Sodhi 1/33
Result: India won by 7 wickets