T20 WC: Mitchell, Williamson lead New Zealand to 8-wicket win over India
IANS

T20 WC: Mitchell, Williamson lead New Zealand to 8-wicket win over India

Dubai, October 31, 2021

Daryl Mitchell (49 off 35 balls) and Kane Williamson (33 not out off 31 balls) led New Zealand to an emphatic eight-wicket win over India in an important Group 2 match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday.

After restricting India to a paltry 110/7 in 20 overs, New Zealand chased down the target easily with 33 balls to spare.

Martin Guptill began by hitting Varun Chakravarthy for back-to-back boundaries in the third over. He took a boundary off Jasprit Bumrah in the next over. But on the next ball, he miscued a loft to mid-on, where Shardul Thakur grabbed it on the second attempt.

Daryl Mitchell welcomed Ravindra Jadeja in the final over of power-play with a six over long-on followed by back-to-back fours.

Post power-play, Mitchell continued the good show, slamming Mohammed Shami for a six over deep square-leg. He then took 14 runs off Thakur in the tenth over, smoking a six over cow corner followed by back-to-back fours. Mitchell stitched a partnership of 72 off 54 balls with Kane Williamson to keep New Zealand steady in the chase.

Mitchell fell a run short of his maiden T20I half-century in the 13th over, holing out to long-on off Bumrah. Williamson hunt around to hit two fours off Hardik Pandya in the 14th over before scoring the winning single to complete their first win of the ongoing tournament.

Earlier, a clinical bowling performance by New Zealand on a two-paced pitch restricted India to a paltry 110/7 in 20 overs.

Trent Boult (3/20) was the pick of the bowlers while Ish Sodhi (2/17) was important in India not having a solid partnership to reach a respectable score.

Pushed in to bat first, India rejigged their batting order at the top but lost both openers inside power-play. K L Rahul began with a chip past leaping mid-on off Tim Southee. In the next over, Ishan Kishan swiped Trent Boult over mid-wicket. Three balls later, Boult had the last laugh as Kishan hit straight to deep square leg. Rohit Sharma, coming at three, was dropped by Adam Milne at deep fine leg on his very first ball.

Milne's first over cost 15 runs as Rahul crunched a boundary followed by Sharma cutting through point followed by flicking off his wrists over deep square leg.

Rahul began the final over of power-play with an inner edge past stumps for a boundary. Five balls later, Southee bounced back as Rahul pulled straight to deep square-leg.

After the power-play, New Zealand stemmed the run-flow by not conceding any boundaries in the middle overs. Sharma mistimed his pull to long-on off Ish Sodhi in the eighth over.

After the drinks break, Sodhi struck immediately as Virat Kohli skied a slog-sweep to long-on. New Zealand's tight grip continued as Adam Milne knocked over Rishabh Pant's stumps in the 15th over.

Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja struck a boundary each off Boult and Milne. Boult returned to take out Pandya and Shardul Thakur in the first four balls of his final over. Jadeja took a four off Boult before hitting Southee for a six in the final over to give his team a few more runs to defend.

Brief scores: India 110/7 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 26 not out, Hardik Pandya 23, Trent Boult 3/20, Ish Sodhi 2/17) lost to New Zealand 111/2 in 14.3 overs (Daryl Mitchell 49, Kane Williamson 33 not out, Jasprit Bumrah 2/19) by eight wickets

IANS

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