Another KL Rahul half-century takes India 2-0 up in T20I series against New Zealand

India once again had an easy outing against New Zealand, beating the hosts by 7 wickets in the second T20I in Auckland. 

Electing to bat first, New Zealand got off to a sedate start. Opener Colin Munro slowed proceedings down, which put Martin Guptill at the other end under pressure. 

Struggling with just 39 runs after 5 overs, Guptill tried to rush the innings, falling for 33 off 20 balls to Shardul Thakur. 

Munro’s innings of 26 off 25 balls came to an end soon after and in the ninth over, the Kiwis were 68/2.

It was to the credit of the Indian bowlers who never let the New Zealand batsmen get going. Thakur, Mohamed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shivam Dube ad Ravindra Jadeja banded together to keep the pressure on New Zealand, with Kane Williamson, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor all not crossing 20. 

Tim Seifert showed some resistance and a late surge of 33* off 26 balls by him pushed the Kiwis to a below par 132/5 in 20 overs. 

The hosts had India on the mat early on – Rohit Sharma falling in first over itself after hitting two boundaries, dismissed for 8 off 6 balls by Tim Southee. 

Virat Kohli didn’t last too long either. Southee striking again, dismissing the Indian skipper in sixth over – India at 39/2.

It once again came down to KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer – the heroes of the 1st T20I. The Kiwi bowlers, especially  spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, kept up the pressure but the hosts just didn’t have enough runs on the board to defend. 

A pacy 44 off 33 balls by Iyer and a solid 57* off 50 balls by Rahul meant that India never looked in trouble. Their last 48 runs came in just 21 balls. India cantering home to a 7 wicket win with 15 balls to spare. 

Kohli’s men now lead the 5-match T20I series 2-0.