Rahul hits 50 as India coast home in 2nd T20
AUCKLAND: With miserly bowling and another KL Rahul half-century, India again outclassed New Zealand as they coasted to a seven-wicket victory in the second Twenty20 match in Auckland on Sunday to go 2-0 up in the series. On the Eden Park ground renowned for its short boundaries — and which produced more than 400 runs in game one on Friday — New Zealand struggled with the bat and posted a meagre 132 for five, batting first against a disciplined Indian attack. Rahul cracked his second half-century in as many matches to lead India’s reply in which they reeled in the target for the loss of only three wickets and with 15 balls to spare. “Another good performance today, especially with the ball,” said Indian skipper Virat Kohli who could scarcely contain his glee, exclaiming “oh happy days” when he lost the toss and heard New Zealand choose to bat first. Bowling first was India’s strength, he said. “We demanded the bowlers stood up and took control of what we wanted to do out there, and our line and lengths… was a very good feature. Even with a low target to chase, India had an early blip when Tim Southee removed Rohit Sharma for eight and Kohli for 11. But Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who set up India’s six-wicket win in game one, were rarely troubled in an 87-run partnership to ensure victory. Iyer was eventually dismissed for 44 while Rahul was unbeaten on 57. Despite the comprehensive defeat for New Zealand, captain Kane Williamson stood by his decision to bat first. “India were outstanding with the ball so it was tough,” he said.