Hyderabad: After a successful run-chase in the first T20, India and New Zealand squared off in the second T20 at Eden Park on Sunday. Making the occasion even more special and important for India, is the 71st Republic day.
Kane Williamson won the toss this time and elected to bat first, which many called a surprising decision. But Virat Kohli wanted to bowl as well. So both the captains got what they wished for.
The explosive opening duo of Colin Munro and Martin Guptill once again gave an explosive start to the Kiwi innings which didn’t last for long. Shardul Thakur dismissed Martin Guptill on the last ball of the powerplay. Colin Munro kept attacking the bowlers until Virat Kohli pulled off a stunner diving infront to send Munro back to the bench.
Ravindra Jadeja then came in with two quick wickets of de Grandhomme and Kane Williamson, thus rattling the New Zealand batting line up. He was equally economical with the figures of 4-0-18-2.
The pacers then pulled up their socks and restricted the New Zealand batters from the big shots. Although Tim Seifert sneaked in a boundary or two, they finished at 132/5.
India had a decent target to chase and take their lead further to 2-0 with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul walked out to bat. Rohit Sharma scored two boundaries with an attacking approach but fell to Tim Southee in the same over.
Virat Kohli then walked in to bat but couldn’t stay in the middle for long as Tim Southee got the better of him. India looked in trouble at 39/2. Shreyas Iyer, the Man of the Match in the 1st T20 joined KL Rahul.
The duo then sensibly hit the ball for singles and put the bad balls to the boundaries and anchored the Indian chase. KL Rahul then scored his second consecutive fifty and brought the equation down to run-a-ball. Shreyas Iyer then showed his class and took on the kiwi bowlers. While doing the same, he mishit one off Ish Sodhi and missed out on a well-deserved fifty.
Shivam Dube finished things off in style with a six seized the win for India by 7 wickets. They now lead the series by 2-0 with the 3rd T20 to be played on January 29 at Seddon Park.
KL Rahul was also adjudged the Man of the Match for his unbeaten 57* which lead India to victory on the 71st Republic Day.