New Zealand outplayed India in every department on Sunday night to inch closer to the semifinal spot of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
The Kiwis chased down the 111-run target with eight wickets in hand.
Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell were the major contributors with the bat, helping NZ finish the game in 14.3 overs.
India’s bowling woes continue
Jasprit Bumrah became the only Indian bowler tonight to claim a wicket after Virat Kohli in the 2016 T20 World Cup.
Pakistan beat them by 10 wickets and NZ lost only two scalps before chasing down the total and handing India their second consecutive loss of the mega event.
India’s bowling seemed too impressive before the start of this campaign, but neither their spinners nor the pacers have made a significant impact so far.
Cricket pundits had declared India the favourites to win the cup, but the 2007 T20 champs are now on the verge of elimination.
On the other hand, India-born Ish Sodhi was awarded with the Man of the Match trophy for his 2/17.
The leg-spinner dismissed India captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma.
“I think a big part of our game is using spin in the middle,” Sodhi said after picking up his award. “I think Southee getting that wicket late in the powerplay was important, it allowed the spinners to bowl.”
Trent Boult was right up there as well, ending his spell with 3/20.
Mitchell Santner kept the Indian top-order in check and never allowed them to play big shots.
The left-arm spinner gave only 15 runs in his quota of four overs.
Mitchell puts on a show
Daryl Mitchell never let the Indian bowlers take charge after Martin Guptill departed in the powerplay.
He took a few balls to settle himself, but then got going. His 49 off 35 had him as the top scorer on either side.
Mitchell struck three huge sixes in his inning and batted at a 140 strike rate.
His ballistic knock allowed NZ captain Kane Williamson to play his natural game, nudge the ball around for singles and take the team across the line with ease.
Williamson remained unbeaten at 33 with three fours.
“There’s always planning going into games. But a fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side.”
“We were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out really set the platform,” Williamson said in the post-match interview.
India let NZ smell blood
The body language of Indian players never looked great in the second half.
With only 110 runs on the board, Kohli and co did not seem confident in themselves.
Even the India skipper admitted that the team lacked the ferocity that they are known for in the cricket fraternity.
“Quite bizarre. I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. Didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to the field,” a dejected Kohli told the match presenters.
India are ranked fifth in the table without any point in the bag.
They will have to win all of their games from now and bank on Afghanistan or New Zealand to lose their upcoming games.
India’s experiments fail
India decided to send Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul to open the innings with Rohit Sharma coming in at no.3.
However, Ishan was caught out in the third over leaving India at 11/1 in 2.5 overs.
On the very next ball, Rohit Sharma was dropped by Adam Milne but he could not capitalise on it.
Things seemed to pick up for India soon after as they got to 35 in 5.4 overs but KL Rahul, who had just begun to prove his mettle, departed for 18 runs off 16 balls.
Team India skipper Virat Kohli then came on and a few balls later, Rohit Sharma was caught out for 14 runs off 14 balls.
Virat also departed and it came on to Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya to rescue India from 48/4 in 10.1 overs.
However they couldn’t provide the much-needed push to the scoring rate.
India went 71 balls between the sixth and the 17th overs without hitting a single boundary.
Such was the control exerted by Kiwi spinners Santner and Sodhi in the game.
Pandya departed for 23 off 24. Shardul Thakur was also caught out soon for a duck, leaving India at 94 for seven.
Finally India finished the innings with a sub-optimal 110 for seven wickets.
Spinner Ish Sodhi, who picked up two wickets won the Man of the Match award.
New Zealand 111 for 2 (Mitchell 49, Bumrah 2-19) beat India 110 for 7 (Boult 3-20, Sodhi 2-17) by eight wickets