Openers strike a fifty apiece to give India the perfect platform to chase down New Zealand’s 153-6; Black Caps could not cut loose despite early salvo from Martin Guptill as debutant Harshal Patel and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel restrict tourists’ scoring
Last Updated: 19/11/21 5:39pm
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma shared a century opening stand as India pummelled New Zealand by seven wickets in the second T20 international, to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
KL Rahul (65 off 49 balls) and Sharma (55 off 35) put on 117 in 13.2 overs in Ranchi to put the hosts firmly on track for victory after the Black Caps posted 153-6 in their 20 overs.
Both batsmen reached their half-centuries with sixes off Adam Milne – KL Rahul posting his fourth fifty in his last five T20 knocks off 40 balls courtesy of a devastating maximum over extra cover and Sharma pulling the seamer dismissively over the rope to reach the milestone off 35 deliveries.
Seamer Tim Southee removed the openers and finished with 3-16 after Suryakaumar Yadav chopped on for just a single, but the damage had been done – Rishabh Pant sealing an emphatic victory in suitable fashion with a brace of sixes off Jimmy Neesham.
The successive blows took India to 155-3, their mission accomplished in just 17.2 overs.
The teams will contest the final match of the series on Sunday – live on Sky Sports Cricket at 1.20pm – before attentions turn to the first Test, on Thursday.
India vs New Zealand
November 21, 2021, 1:20pm
New Zealand got off to a flyer after being put in to bat with Martin Guptill (31 off 15) leading the charge in a 48-run first-wicket stand with Daryl Mitchell (31 off 28).
The ball came on nicely from the off and Guptill, dropped on eight by KL Rahul, took advantage to move back ahead of Virat Kohli in the list of top run-scorer in T20 international history.
His exit – caught off Deepak Chahar thanks to a miscued pull – gave India some respite, with Mark Chapman (21 off 17) unable to follow up his fifty in the first match of the series.
Harshal Patel (2-25) bagged his maiden international wicket when Daryl Mitchell (31 off 28) also miscued down the ground to make it 90-3 and the debutant doubled up with the scalp of Glenn Phillips (34 off 21), who struck three sixes as he moved up through the gears.
The Black Caps could never quite cut loose with Ravichandran Ashwin (1-19) and fellow spinner Axar Patel (1-26) both returning economical spells.
India’s opening pair began circumspectly but not sluggishly – KL Rahul displaying his usual poise and crisp striking as he contributed 32 off 26 balls to a score of 45-0 off the powerplay.
Sharma survived a chance on 29 when Trent Boult shelled a chance straight down the ground and New Zealand’s hopes continued to recede as the partnership reached 100 off 74 balls.
A 10-wicket thumping looked on the cards until KL Rahul got under a slower delivery from Tim Southee and picked out Glenn Phillips at deep square.
Sharma’s exit was tame, popping up a catch to Guptill at extra cover off Southee’s slower delivery, and contrasted with the ruthlessness of India’s chase.
Watch the third and final T20 international between India and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.20pm on Sunday.