Ranchi: Team India put their T20 World Cup disappointment behind them by sealing a series victory over New Zealand here on Friday night.
A fine all-round bowling show, followed by a 117-run opening partnerships helped India win the second T20 International by x wickets and thus take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Chasing a modest 154, the Indian openers made a steady start before KL Rahul exploded and played some sublime shots. He smashed 6 fours and 2 sixes in his 49-ball 65 — his fourth half century in the last five matches.
Skipper Rohit Sharma took his time to get a measure of the pitch before going on a six-hitting spree. He made 55 off 36 balls with a four and five sixes before a tame dismissal off New Zealand stand-in captain Tim Southee, who took all three wickets.
Rishabh Pant finished off the game with two consecutive sixes off Jimmy Neesham.
India thus avenged their World Cup defeat at the hands of New Zealand, which put paid to their hopes of making the semifinals.
Rohit, who has taken over the T20I captaincy from Virat Kohli, won his second successive toss and again opted to field first.
New Zealand got off to a flyer, reaching 64 for 1 in six overs. But the Indian bowlers took wickets at regular intervals and prevented the visiting team from maintaining a high run rate.
None of the batsmen managed a fifty as spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (1/19) and Axar Patel (1/26), along with debutant pacer Harshal Patel (2/26) maintained a tight leash.
Scores: New Zealand 153/6 in 20 overs. India 155/3 in 17.2 overs.
Result: India won by 7 wickets.
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