After having an outclass performance in the T20I series opener at Wellington on last Wednesday (6 February), New Zealand got disappointed in the second T20I at Eden Park (Auckland) on Friday (8 February).
On Friday, the New Zealand top-order batsmen failed to provide the same good start they had during the first T20I of the series. At the end of the powerplay, the hosts were battling on 43/3. Both the openers Tim Seifert and Colin Munro lost their wickets on 12 runs each.
Later, on the final ball of the powerplay, Daryl Mitchell lost his wicket on just one run after the umpires had a controversial decision in DRS. Just after the powerplay, the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was dismissed on 20 runs as the hosts were batting on 50/4.
Then, Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme rescued that innings as they had the 77-run partnership for the fifth-wicket and carried the team for a fighting total of 158/8 (20 overs). While Colin de Grandhomme (50 runs) scored his maiden T20I half-century, Ross Taylor played a crucial 42-run knock.
However, the Indian bowlers were mostly in control during the game. The left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya led the bowling side on top as he bagged three wickets in the game (3/28).
In reply, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan provided a great start as they had the 79-run partnership. While the stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma scored 50 runs off 29 balls, Shikhar Dhawan scored run a ball 30.
After that, Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni comfortably carried the side to the victory. While India reached the target in 18.5 overs after losing three wickets, Rishabh Pant remained not out on 40 runs, and MS Dhoni was not out on 20 runs.
There is a lot of learning:
Talking about their disappointing performance in the Auckland T20I, the host captain Kane Williamson claimed that they had still to learn a lot more.
Kane Williamson quoted in the post-match presentation ceremony, “I suppose the performance of Wellington was always going to be difficult to replicate. Slightly more tricky at times here. There a lot of learnings. Look, you still need to come out and play with freedom.”
He further added, “Often we come here, often brilliantly cricket matches. Brilliant crowd today. One-all in the series, hopefully we will get another outstanding crowd.”
Currently, the T20I series is level by 1-1. The third and final T20I of the series will be played on this Sunday (10 February) at the Seddon Park (Hamilton).