Tauranga, Nov 20: Team India produced a clinical effort to beat hosts New Zealand by a huge 65-run margin in the second T20I and went 1-nil up in the three-match series. The first match of the bilateral series was washed out due to rain on November 18 in Wellington. The third and final match will be held in Napier on November 22.
Riding upon a sensational century from Suryakumar Yadav, the Indians posted a respectable 191/8 in the stipulated 20 overs after being invited to bat first. Ishan Kishan was the second-highest run-scorer for India with 36.
Hardik Pandya-led side had a new opening pair in Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan in this game but Pant was dismissed cheaply. Kishan - who is making his comeback in the T20 side - played a vital knock up front and scored valuable 36 runs to give India a decent start in the powerplay.
Shreyas Iyer (13) and captain Hardik (13) couldn't score big but they ensured an on-song SKY was getting the strike he needed. The Men In Blue, however, witnessed a mini-collapse in the death over, especially in the final over when Kiwi pacer Tim Southee claimed his second T20I hat-trick and prevented Indians from touching the 200-run mark.
However, the target of 192 proved too much for the hosts as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh started off pretty well in the powerplay with the new ball.
Later in the middle-overs Yuzvendra Chahal - who made his comeback after warming the benches throughout the T20 World Cup - proved why he's such a dangerous bowler as he picked up a couple of wickets from his quota of 4 overs.
Mohammed Siraj too bagged a couple of wickets in his second spell of the match, while all-rounder Deepak Hooda - who had a forgettable outing with the bat - returned with 4/10 with the ball. The off-spinner picked up three wickets in the final over of the NZ innings' and the opposition was bundled out for 126 in 18.5 overs. For the Kiwis, their skipper Kane Williamson scored 61 off 52 balls but he found no support at the other end.
Post-Match Comments and award winners:
Suryakumar Yadav, Player of the Match: The plan was clear when I went into bat. At the 12th/13th over, we thought about batting deep and getting around 170-175 was a par score. Secret (behind his freak shots) is about the intent and you need to enjoy yourself. It's also about the work you do in the practice sessions. It's a great feeling coming here, having a full game and going 1-0 in the series feels good. I feel that I didn't think too much about what was happening. Just had my gameplan and it worked well. Fantastic crowd here.
Kane Williamson, NZ captain: It was not our best effort. Surya's innings was out of this world. One of the best knocks I've ever seen. Some of those shots, I've never seen before. They were outstanding, but we weren't up to mark. We didn't get momentum with the ball, didn't get enough wickets and didn't get momentum with the bat either. It was frustrating. Again, I'll say about Suryakumar, his innings was the difference. It did swing a bit (in the chase) and India did well to get some swing. Important to look at those few areas and improve. Need to look at the small margins. Sometimes, a special innings can happen, Surya is the best player in the world.
Hardik Pandya, India captain: Can't get any better than this. Everyone chipped it but it was surely a special innings by Surya. We would have taken a score of 170-175. Bowlers did well and it was about being aggressive in the mindset. It doesn't mean taking a wicket every ball, but being aggressive with the ball is important. The conditions were very wet, so credit to the bowlers. I have bowled a lot, going forward I want to see more bowling options. Not always that this will work but I want more batters to chip in with the ball. I expect them to be professional, which they are. Give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves. It's about creating an environment where they are all in a happy space. I see many times in this team that all the players are happy for each other's success. And that's important. I don't know (about changes for the next game). I'd like to give everyone in the squad a chance but it's just one more game, so it's a bit tough.
# Strike rates today
Surya: 217.65 (111 off 51)
Rest of India batters: 100.00 (69 off 69)
NZ batters: 104.42 (118 off 113)