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2nd T20 highlights: Rahul's 57 helps India beat New Zealand by 7 wickets

Boasting a formidable batting line-up, chasing 133 proved to be a cakewalk for the visitors on a pitch that was slightly on the slower side

BS Web Team 

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K L Rahul
India's K L Rahul bats as New Zealand wicketkeeper Tim Seifert looks on during the Twenty/20 cricket international between India and New Zealand in Auckland. Photo: AP | PTI

India tightened their grip on the five match T20 International series with a seven-wicket drubbing of New Zealand in the second match after their bowlers stifled the hosts on a pocket-sized Eden Park, Auckland on Sunday. Boasting a formidable batting line-up, chasing 133 proved to be a cakewalk for the visitors on a pitch that was slightly on the slower side.

The very short boundary ensured the match ended with as many as 15 balls to spare. The trio of Ravindra Jadeja, and allowed no respite to Kane Williamson's team after New Zealand surprisingly chose to bat, restricting them to 132 for five.

then scored 57 not out off 50 balls while scored 44 off 33 balls, the duo adding 86 runs for the third wicket and after Rohit Sharma's twin failure.

took 2-20 as India had to do without major contributions from both Sharma and skipper

 
2nd T20 full scorecard



 
Sharma (8) was out caught at slip in the first over off Southee. New Zealand's new ball bowlers were compact and didn't let the Indian top order get away unlike the first T20I on Friday.

Even so, Rahul and Kohli added 31 runs for the second wicket. The latter then was caught behind off Southee in the sixth over with Tim Seifert taking a brilliant diving catch.

Kohli scored 11 off 12 balls and the wicket's slow nature was starting to impact proceedings. New Zealand held back their spinners too, but Rahul-Iyer settled down in this passage of play.

They rotated strike well and added 50 in 55 balls by minimising risks. Rahul brought up his 11th T20I half-century off 43 balls.

Overall, Rahul hit three fours and two sixes, while Iyer hit one four and three sixes.

India crossed 100 in the 15th over after which Iyer cut loose to approach the finish line. He fell just prior, holing out off (1-33).

But Rahul stuck around while Shivam Dube finished the job with a six over midwicket.

This was after Indian bowlers made good use of a slower pitch.

Opting to bat, the Black Caps couldn't generate enough momentum in the middle overs and finished with a sub-par total.

top-scored with 33 off 20 balls, while Tim Seifert was unbeaten on 33 not out off 26 balls.

Guptill and Colin Munro (26) provided a measured start to New Zealand putting on 48 runs for the first wicket.

Surprisingly, India held back (1-21) as Shardul Thakur (1-21) and (0-22) bowled four overs in the power play. The tactic worked as Thakur got rid of Guptill at end of six overs.

India then used the slow nature of the used-wicket to put brakes on the New Zealand middle order. Wickets came at a regular interval as the Black Caps struggled to get the big shots out.

(0-33) and Shivam Dube (1-16) combined well after the powerplay, while was the stand out bowler with figures of 2-18 from four overs.

Overall, India also raised their fielding effort barring a bizarre drop from late in the innings.

Dube got rid of Munro in the ninth over while (3) failed to get going once again. Jadeja gleefully accepted his return catch.

The hosts were reduced to 81 for four in the 13th over when skipper (14) became Jadeja's victim, caught in the deep by Chahal.

The wheels had truly come off the New Zealand innings as they were struggling to get the big shots away and squandered their measured start away.

(18) struggling for timing throughout his 24-ball stay was a prime example. Without Seifert's effort, including a four and two sixes, the score wouldn't have achieved any respectability.

Iyer walked off the field in the last over after hurting his left knee whilst fielding.
 

Here are the playing 11 of both the teams:

India playing 11: (C), Rohit Sharma, (w), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, and

New Zealand playing 11: Kane Williamson(C), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (wk), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner and Hamish Bennett.

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