Bowlers, Rohit help India level the series

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Bowlers, Rohit help India level the series

08 Feb 2019 063 Views Yash Mittal

After an enthralling Women's T20I earlier in the day, the second T20I between the Men turned out yet another damp squib as India put on a clinic against the Kiwis to register their first-ever T20I win on New Zealand soil and draw level the 3-match series with a game to go.

Same team. Same bowlers but a completely different result exemplified the difference wickets at regular intervals make in a white-ball game. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave India a perfect start as he got rid of the Tim Siefert, who looked primed to do an encore of his performance at Wellington, taking Kumar for a four and six before nicking it to MS Dhoni.

Krunal Pandya- 3-28 wrecked through New Zealand's top-order by claiming the dangerous looking Munro [12] before accounting for Daryll Mitchell and Kane Williamson leg-before-wicket. Daryl Mitchell's wicket brought the spotlight back on the DRS when despite a clear-spike on Hot-spot, the third umpire did not overrule the on-field decision. With Williamson too falling to Pandya, the Kiwis were in dire straits at 4-60 after 10 overs.

Then, came the recovery. Colin de Grandhomme played a whirlwind knock of 50 off 28 balls- an innings which included four sixes- 2 off Chahal sandwiched between a boundary and the remaining two off Krunal Pandya in the next over, as the duo stitched 61 runs in the next five overs to bring the hosts' back into the game. But, the turning point came when de Grandhomme picked Sharma at cover off Hardik Pandya. The next four overs saw the Kiwis hit just one boundary as Khaleel Ahmed closed off the innings with a brilliant last over where he claimed two wickets and conceded just five runs to keep the score to 8-158.

Rohit Sharma had endured a lean patch leading up to the game but the Indian captain was on song right from the first ball as he took the Kiwi bowling attack to the cleaners during a 79-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan. A plethora of records galore for Sharma as he became the leading run-scorer [2288] in T20I cricket.

He fell to the worst of deliveries- a long-hop from Ish Sodhi as he tried to muscle the ball over the fence, only to top-edge to deep-midwicket. Lockie Ferguson bounced out Dhawan with a raging bumper to give the Kiwis an opening.

But, mature innings from Rishabh Pant [40 off 28 balls], who stitched valuable partnerships- 40 with Vijay Shankar [14] and an unbeaten 52 with MS Dhoni [20] paved the way for India's first-ever T20I win on Kiwi soil.


The Match in Numbers-

1st- The 7-wicket win in Auckland was India's first-ever T20I win on New Zealand soil.

12th- win for Rohit Sharma as captain of the Indian team in T20I cricket.

No of wins for India in T20Is-
Under Virat Kohli- 12 [20 matches]
Under Rohit Sharma- 12 [14 matches]

2288- Rohit Sharma, during his knock of 50 [29] became the leading run-scorer in T20I cricket, going past Martin Guptill's tally of 2272 runs. Sharma also has the most number of 100s [4] and half-centuries [20] in T20I cricket.

1st- Rohit Sharma stroked four sixes in his knock of 50. In the process, he became the first Indian and third overall to hit 100 6s in T20I cricket.

349- Sharma has stroked 349 sixes for India in International cricket- the most by an Indian.

Most 6s by Indian player in T20I Cricket-
349- Rohit Sharma
348- MS Dhoni
264- Sachin Tendulkar

Yash Mittal

Bharat Army Sports Writer


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