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PHOTOS: Dominant India outclass Kiwis to take 2-0 lead

Last updated on: January 26, 2020 16:40 IST
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Images from the second T20 International in Auckland on Sunday.

KL Rahul

IMAGE: KL Rahul plays the ramp shot. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

India's bowlers highlighted the balance of their side as they set up an easy seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second Twenty20 international at Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

 

KL Rahul (57 not out) and Shreyas Iyer (44) then marshalled the run chase as they helped their side to reach 135-3 with 15 balls to spare, chasing New Zealand's 132-5.

The hosts had posted an impressive 203-5 in the first game on Friday but were unable to repeat that on a pitch that had slowed down considerably in the intervening 48 hours and India's bowlers put them under pressure throughout the innings.

Shreyas Iyer

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer hits out. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets with his left-arm spin and conceded just 18 runs from four overs.

New Zealand wicketkeeper Tim Seifert scored 33 not out, while Martin Guptill also scored 33 in their side's total.

India won the first game on Friday by six wickets as Rahul and Iyer both scored half centuries.

The third game of the five-match series is in Hamilton on Wednesday.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate the wicket of Kane Williamson. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Earlier, Exploiting a slow track, Indian bowlers struck intermittently to restrict New Zealand to a modest 132 for five with Jadeja putting the breaks in the middle overs as he bowled a brilliant spell of 2-18 in four overs.

Electing to bat, the Black Caps could not generate enough momentum in the middle overs and finished with a below-par total.

Martin Guptill top-scored with 33 off 20 balls, while Tim Seifert was unbeaten on 33 not out off 26 balls.

Guptill and Colin Munro (26) provided a measured start to New Zealand putting on 48 runs for the first wicket.

Surprisingly, India held back Jasprit Bumrah (1/21) as Shardul Thakur (1/21) and Mohammed Shami (0/22) bowled four overs in the Powerplay. The tactic worked as Thakur got rid of Guptill at end of six overs.

Martin Guptill

IMAGE: Martin Guptill hits a boundary. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

India's bowlers used the slow nature of the used-wicket to put brakes on the scoring rate. They struck at regular interval as the Black Caps struggled to pull off big shots.

Yuzvendra Chahal (0/33) and Shivam Dube (1/16) combined well after the powerplay, while Ravindra Jadeja was the stand out bowler with figures of 2-18 from four overs.

Overall, India also raised their fielding effort barring a surprise drop chance from Virat Kohli late in the innings.

Dube got rid of Munro in the ninth over while Colin de Grandhomme (3) failed to get going once again as he hit a simple return catch to Jadeja.

Tim Seifert

IMAGE: Tim Siefert hit 33 not out off 26 balls to boost New Zealand's score in the final few overs. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The hosts were reduced to 81-4 in the 13th over when skipper Kane Williamson (14) became Jadeja's victim, caught in the deep by Chahal.

The wheels had truly come off the New Zealand innings as they were struggling to get the big shots away and squandered their measured start away.

Ross Taylor (18), struggling for timing throughout his 24-ball stay was a prime example. Without Seifert's effort, including a four and two sixes, the score wouldn't have achieved any respectability.

In reply, India lost a couple of early wickets. Rohit Sharma (8) was out caught at slip in the first over off Southee as New Zealand's new ball bowlers were compact and didn't let the Indian top order get away unlike the first T20I on Friday.

Even so, Rahul and Virat Kohli added 31 runs for the second wicket before the latter was caught behind off Southee in the sixth over with Tim Seifert taking a brilliant diving catch down the leg side.

Kohli scored 11 off 12 balls and the wicket's slow nature was starting to impact proceedings. New Zealand held back their spinners too, but Rahul-Iyer settled down in this passage of play.

They rotated strike well and added 50 in 55 balls by minimising risks. Rahul brought up his 11th T20I half-century off 43 balls.

Overall, Rahul hit three fours and two sixes, while Iyer hit one four and three sixes.

India crossed 100 in the 15th over after which Iyer cut loose to approach the finish line. He fell just prior, holing out off Ish Sodhi (1-33).

But Rahul stuck around while Shivam Dube finished the job with a six over midwicket.

India have a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after winning the first T20I by six wickets.

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