Raipur: Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill shared a 72-run alliance for the opening wicket as India cruised to an eight-wicket win in the second ODI against New Zealand in Raipur to clinch the three-match ODI rubber 2-0. The hosts chased down the paltry target of 109 in just the 21st over.
On a track that seemed to have eased a bit during the second innings, Rohit and Gill employed the pull, hook and drive to put India in cruise control. Rohit also seemed to be in a mood to try out a few innovative shots as he cracked the reverse sweep off Mitchell Santner. Eventually, in the 15th over, the visitors picked up their first wicket of the innings when Rohit attempted an across the line shot off Henry Shipley but was trapped in front. The ball kept quite low which didn’t help Rohit’s cause.
Gill brought India closer to the target with a slog-sweep and pull. However, against the run of play, India lost another wicket when Virat Kohli was dismissed for the second time in the series by Santner. The left-arm spinner lured Kohli out of the crease and Tom Latham did the rest behind the stumps by whipping the bails off. Gill soon hit the winning runs with a boundary of Santner.
The foundation stone for India’s win was laid by the bowlers. Mohammed Shami set the tone by removing Finn Allen in the very first over. Allen, who prefers to stay back, slogged one across the line and was cleaned up by Shami. Mohammed Siraj then employed his trademark three-quarter seam to nip it away from the left-handed Henry Nicholls and forced him to edge one behind. Shami followed it up by dismissing Daryl Mitchell; the No.4 batter getting a leading edge back to the bowler.
The procession of wickets continued as Hardik Pandya pouched a brilliant one-handed return catch to send Conway back to the hut. Latham didn’t survive for long either as he tamely edged Shardul Thakur to Shubman Gill as New Zealand slipped to a precariously placed 15 for 5. At that juncture, with the tourists in dire straits, Michael Bracewell and Glenn Phillips tried to prop up the innings. However, Bracewell couldn’t repeat his heroics from the first ODI as he top-edged a pull to the wicket-keeper.
Phillips then joined forces with Mitchell Santner to share another promising stand of 47. But Hardik cleaned up Santner with a slower one, and in the very next over, Phillips pulled one off Washington Sundar to deep midwicket. Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav took the last two wickets to fall to provide the finishing touches.
Brief scores: New Zealand 108 in 34.3 overs (Glenn Phillips 36; Mohammed Shami 3-18) lost to India 111/2 in 20.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 51; Mitchell Santner 1-28) by eight wickets. Ⓒ Cricbuzz
Source: Press Trust of India