Captain Rohit Sharma smashed an eye-catching fifty while Shubman Gill remained unbeaten on 40 to guide India to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second ODI at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Cricket Stadium, here on Saturday.
After the Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami’s 3/18, were accurate in their bowling, fetched good swing, turn, bounce, and took sharp return catches in an impressive show to bowl out New Zealand for just 108.
In reply, Rohit made 51 and led the way for the total to be chased down in 20.1 overs. The victory also means that India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, which is also their second ODI series victory of the year at home.
New Zealand bowlers, barring Lockie Ferguson, were unable to extract the same amount of movement which the Indian bowlers were able to do in the first ten overs. That allowed Rohit and Gill to tee off with ease.
While Rohit pulled and slashed off Henry Shipley’s short balls with ease, Gill started off with an uppish square drive over backward point off the same bowler for making three boundaries of the first four overs.
Rohit hit the first six of the match by hooking off Ferguson’s pace over fine leg with immaculate ease. When he overpitched, Gill was quick in leaning into the drive through cover for four more.
India skipper played some breathtaking shots in power-play — a short ball from Blair Tickner was pulled in a flash over mid-wicket for four, before he went inside-out effortlessly over extra cover for a majestic six.
He welcomed Mitchell Santner in the 13th over with a hard sweep through square leg, before Gill took another boundary off him through outside edge running wide of slip. Two overs after getting his fifty, Rohit tried to work a short of length ball from Shipley through leg-side. But the ball stayed low to hit Rohit on the knee roll, trapping him lbw for 51.
Virat Kohli dished out a lovely straight drive, presenting the full face of the bat for a delightful boundary off Shipley, before pulling fiercely through backward square leg to make it two fours in the 17th over.
Gill welcomed Michael Bracewell with pull and sweep over mid-wicket fence for two boundaries in the 18th over to take India closer to victory. Though Kohli was stumped off Santner for 11, Ishan Kishan hit two boundaries off spinners before Gill hit the winning runs by dancing down the pitch and lofting over mid-on off Santner to seal a crushing victory for India.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 108 all out in 34.3 overs (Glenn Phillips 36, Mitchell Santner 27; Mohammed Shami 3/18, Washington Sundar 2/7) lost to India 111/2 in 20.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 51, Shubman Gill 40 not out; Mitchell Santner 1/28, Henry Shipley 1/29) by eight wickets