KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma struck half-centuries to set the base of a comfortable chase against New Zealand in Ranchi with India winning the second T20I by seven wickets and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead to seal the three-match series on Friday night. After limiting New Zealand to a below par 153/6, powered by the century stand for the opening wicket, the hosts overhauled the target in 17.2 overs at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
2nd T20I Highlights: India vs New Zealand
Rahul scored a strokeful 65 off 49, an innings that featured six fours and two sixes. He fell trying to rush his team towards the target in the 14th over but not before adding 117 runs with his captain who made 55 off 36 and fell to a rather soft dismissal.
Rohit struck just one four but peppered the Ranchi night sky with five sixes.
The duo departed in quick succession and when Suryakumar Yadav dragged one back to be bowled on 1, the memories of Jaipur became afresh when India were pushed to the final over despite being in a rather comfortable position in the chase before winning the series opener. However, this time, Rishabh Pant ensured no late drama as he smoked two huge sixes off James Neesham to get his team home.
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However, India could have been left to chase lot more if it wasn’t for their spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel who applied the squeeze in the middle overs to neutralise the blazing start given by opener Martin Guptill whose 31 off 15 got New Zealand 64 runs for the cost of one wicket in the Powerplay.
Daryl Mitchell (31 off 28) and Mark Chapman (21 off 17) threatened to extend the good work of Guptill but Indian bowlers made a strong comeback in the second half of the New Zealand innings.
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Debutant Harshal Patel finished with 2/25 from his four overs while Ashwin, Axar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar chipped in with a wicket each as the tourists failed to flourish in the death overs.
The third and final T20I of the series will be played in Kolkata on Sunday.
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