Rohit, Shami guide India to series win over NZ

Raipur: All round performances helped India seal the 3-match ODI series with a crushing 8-wicket win over New Zealand in the second ODI at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium here on Saturday.

Mohammed Shami spearheaded India’s pace attack to bundle out New Zealand for a paltry 108 with his 3/18 and then Captain Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Shubman Gill, guided India to a resounding victory after meeting 109 runs target in just 20.1 overs.

This was India’s clinical finish of late as New Zealand’s total was too small for them to defend. Expectedly, India’s openers made short work of it as they built 72 runs partnership in 14.2 overs.

Rohit was in sublime touch as he cracked a splendid half-century to make fans happy as they expected the match to get over before scheduled time.

At the other end, Gill (40 no) played a second fiddle to Rohit, but stroked some delightful boundaries, showcasing his extended run of form with the bat. He cracked six boundaries off 53 balls he faced.

For New Zealand, fault did not lie with their bowlers as they did not have enough runs on board to make a match out of it. They would have if they had made an early inroad, which did not materialise. The chasing side completed the formalities with ease.

Earlier, Shami-led bowling attack sliced through the New Zealand top and middle order, skittling out the visitors to just 108 runs.

At one stage, Kiwis were tottering at 15/5 after they were sent into bat by Rohit. The pitch did a fair bit upfront due to the grass cover on it. But it was by no means devils in it. The fault lay with the New Zealand batsmen who played far too many casual shots to get out.

Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur did not give up after a devastating spell by Shami (3/18) and Siraj (1/10). They continued to put pressure on Kiwi batsmen, while leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav kittied one in his bag.

Glenn Phillips (36), Michael Bracewell (22) and Mitchell Santner (27) were the only batsmen to get going, but could not convert it into big scores, to dole New Zealand out of the woods.

Siraj gave the first blow to New Zealand when he forced opener Henry Nicholos edge one to Shubman Gill in slips. Shami and Hardik took stunning catches on their own bowling to give marching orders to Darly Mitchell (1) and Devon Conway (7).

Shardul Thakur forced Tom Latham (1) to thick-edge to Gill in the slips, who celebrated his second catch of the match. Sunk in deep trouble, last match centurion Bracewell (22) and Philips (36) prevented the visitors from folding their innings below 100.

Shami hurled a sharp bouncer at Bracewell who edged it to Ishan Kishan behind the stumps soon after he had cracked two consecutive boundaries. Santer and Phillips took the total past 100 runs with a 47-run stand for the seventh wicket. However, they lost their wickets to Washington Sundar (2/7) and Hardik, in a span of six balls, plugging visitors’ hopes of a recovery.

Santner played-on Hardik’s slower ball on to the stumps, and Phillips gave a routine catch to Surya Kumar Yadav at deep midwicket off a Sundar. India are in the box seat to seal the series. It’s a hopeless case for New Zealand, unless their bowlers make early inroads.

UNI

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