India barely broke a sweat as they clinched the second T20I against New Zealand by 7 wickets and the three-match series 2-0 in Ranchi on Friday.
Chasing 154 for a win, the Men in Blue sailed home, courtesy of a terrific opening partnership of 117 runs between Rohit Sharma (55 off 36) and KL Rahul (65 off 49).
Even though there were a few last-minute hiccups following some quick wickets, achieving the target never looked to be an improbable task for Rohit Sharma's men. In the end, Rishabh Pant (12* off 6) wrapped up the chase with a couple of sixes as he remained unbeaten alongside Venkatesh Iyer (12* off 11).
WHAT. A. WIN! 👏 👏#TeamIndia secure a 7⃣-wicket victory in the 2nd T20I against New Zealand & take an unassailable lead in the series. 👍 👍 #INDvNZ @Paytm— BCCI (@BCCI) November 19, 2021
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/9m3WflcL1Y pic.twitter.com/ttqjgFE6mP
India had won the toss and put the Kiwis to bat first. Martin Guptill (31 off 15) and Daryl Mitchell (31 off 28) took NZ off to a flying start and even after Guptill's dismissal in the fifth over, they were going at a pace of around 10 runs per over.
The Patel duo of Axar and Harshal (debuting) provided crucial breakthroughs in the middle overs to send back Mitchell, Mark Chapman (21) and Glenn Phillips (34), and slowed down the scoring rate. There was a time when the projected score hinted at NZ crossing 170 runs easily but the Indian bowlers checked the runs in the death overs to restrict their opponents to 153/6. Barring Harshal (2-25), all other India bowlers picked up one wicket each.
INNINGS BREAK!— BCCI (@BCCI) November 19, 2021
Fine performance with the ball from #TeamIndia! 👍 👌
2⃣ wickets on debut for @HarshalPatel23
1⃣ wicket each for @ashwinravi99, @akshar2026, @BhuviOfficial & @deepak_chahar9 #INDvNZ @Paytm
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/9m3WflcL1Y pic.twitter.com/iz8ogYly5i
Starting the chase, Rahul looked in his elements from the very beginning. Even though he missed out on the run feast in the last match, he ensured he compensated this time around. In his fluent 65, he hit six boundaries and two sixes. Rohit, on the other hand, was a little subdued to begin with but soon opened up to his attacking best. He plundered five sixes to compile his 55!
#TeamIndia captain departs but not before he scored his 2⃣5⃣th T20I half-century! 👍 👍— BCCI (@BCCI) November 19, 2021
A superb knock from @ImRo45! 👏
Follow the match ▶️ https://t.co/9m3WflcL1Y#INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/INgn8tMfB1
India play their final T20I at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on November 21st.