The second T20I of the three-match series between the India National Cricket Team and the New Zealand National Cricket Team ended with the Hardik Pandya & Co. defeating the Mitchell Santner-led side by 6 wickets to level the series 1-1.
New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat first in the match at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday, January 29. The BlackCaps were restricted to 99/8 in their 20 overs. Batting was definitely not easy on the surface, but a few more runs could have been scored in the first innings.
The BlackCaps being restricted to a score under 100 was due to the incredible bowling by the Indians as well as some poor batting by the Kiwis. Only Mitchell Santner timed the ball very well and he was the top run-getter for his side with 19 runs under his belt.
Also, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Hooda and Hardik Pandya picked up one wicket each while Arshdeep Singh bagged two wickets.
Chasing the target, India’s top-3 – Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi – were unable to finish off the game and they all got dismissed inside 11 overs.
In the end, Suryakumar Yadav (26*) alongside Hardik Pandya (15*) steered India to a nervy 6-wicket victory on the last-second ball of the 20th over. Notably, a total of 239 balls were bowled in the match, but not even a single six was hit.
I always believed that we’ll be able to finish the game – Hardik Pandya
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Hardik Pandya said that he was confident that they will finish on the winning side. He said:
“I always believed that we’ll be able to finish the game, but it went quite late. All these games are important with the moments. You don’t need to panic because it was about rotating the strike rather than taking the pressure. That’s exactly what we did. We followed our basics.”
Hardik Pandya further talked about the pitches produced for the first two T20Is of the ongoing series. He said:
“To be honest, this was a shocker. Two games, the kind of wickets we’ve played on … I don’t mind difficult wickets, I am all up for that. But these two wickets are not made for T20. Somewhere down the line, curators should make sure that they prepare the game previously rather than having a couple of games there. Other than that, happy.”
Hardik Pandya added that the score of 120 could have turned out to be a match-winning total for New Zealand. He said:
“Even 120 would have been a winning total. Bowlers – they stuck to their plans and ensured they did not rotate the strike. We kept rotating the spinners. Dew didn’t play much part in this. They were able to spin the ball more than us. It was carrying through well. It was a shocker of a wicket.”