With India needing to win the second T20I at any cost in order to keep three-match series alive, their skipper Rohit Sharma led from the very front. The opening batsman scored a blazing fifty to guide India to a series-levelling 7-wicket win over New Zealand.
Needing 159 runs to chase to fire India to win, Rohit fired on all cylinders from the start while Shikhar Dhawan played the role of second fiddle to perfection. The duo shared an unbeaten 79-run stand before Rohit fell to Ish Sodhi for 50. 9 runs later, Dhawan fell after scoring 30. Vijay Shankar looked promising but he could not convert his start after hitting a four and a six as India found themselves three down for 118.
However, Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni shared an unbeaten stand of 44 runs to take the visitors home.
Earlier in the game, New Zealand batsmen failed to replicate their batting heroics of the last game. Both Colin Munro and Tim Seifert, who had top-scored in the last game, failed to get going as New Zealand lost both their openers for just 41 runs on the board. 2 runs later, Daryl Mitchell was dismissed by Krunal Pandya in controversial manner before accounting for Kane Williamson to reduce New Zealand to 50 for 4.
But before India could make further inroads in the game, Colin de Grandhomme launched a stunning counterassault to put the innings back on track. The allrounder slammed 50 off just 28 balls with the help of four sixes and a four. Veteran batsman Ross Taylor then played a calm and composed innings of 42 to help the hosts score a challenging 158 for 8 in the allotted 20 overs.
For India, Krunal Pandya was the pick of the bowler. He picked up 3 for 28 to register the best figures by an Indian in T20Is in New Zealand. Khaleel Ahmed, who had conceded 48 runs in the last game, also did well by picking up 2 for 27.
Speaking after the game, Rohit Sharma said:
“Very pleased to see how we bowled, and we were quite clinical with the bat as well. We have quality in our side, but we executed our plans better today, after learning from our mistakes.
“It’s important to understand the mistakes that we made – it’s been a long tour for everyone. So we didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on the boys, just go in there with a clear mind,” he added. “It’s going to be a cracker of a game in the 3rd T20I, but nothing to take away from New Zealand, they’re still a quality side.”