New Zealand win close game after Kohli heroics
Virat Kohli smashed his second consecutive fifty in T20Is but in vain as New Zealand won the second T20I against India at Chennai by 1 run on Tuesday.
With the first T20I rained off in Vizag, the match marked the much anticipated return of Yuvraj Singh to the national side after his successful treatment against a rare form of cancer. Daniel Vettori returned for New Zealand having missed the Test series due to a groin injury.
MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bowl first. With assistance from the pitch and poor shot selection from the Kiwis, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan reduced them to 2/2 in the second over. Brendon McCullum (91) then repaired the innings, first in a 90 run partnership with Kane Williamson (28) for the third wicket and a 47 run partnership for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor (25*). Then Jacob Oram’s (18) late hitting carried NZ to 167/5 while Irfan (3/31), Zaheer Khan (1/27) and L Balaji (1/33) starred with the ball for India.
Virat Kohli opened the innings in place of the injured Virender Sehwag and despite the early dismissal of Gautam Gambhir (3) accelerated very well. He added 60 for the second wicket with Raina (27), bringing up his second consecutive T20I fifty off just 30 deliveries. Yuvraj Singh was given a rousing reception when he arrived to the crease and his partnership with Kohli (70, 41b, 4x10, 6x1) spanned 34 runs. Kohli’s dismissal slowed down India’s run rate, the required run rate creeping up from 8 to 10. Daniel Vettori (0/37) had earlier borne assault from Kohli but bowled a tight third over as Dhoni found it hard to get find the boundaries immediately.
Coupled with a tiring Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni limited the running between wickets to singles but his inability to hit boundaries saw the RR shoot up to 12.50 in the penultimate over. Yuvraj Singh blasted a six to bring the equation down to 13 required from the final over.
Dhoni managed a four but Franklin bowled Yuvraj (34, 26b, 4x1, 6x2) with a slower ball off the fourth delivery. 6 runs were needed from 2 balls but Rohit Sharma could only manage 4 as New Zealand clinched the game by 1 run. Dhoni finished on 22* (23b, 4x2) as New Zealand remained unbeaten against India in T20Is, this being the fourth encounter between the two teams.