A clinical bowling performance by New Zealand on a two-paced pitch restricted India to a paltry 110/7 in 20 overs in an important Group 2 match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday. 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 into batting first, India rejigged their batting order at the top but lost both openers inside power-play. KL 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.
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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 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) against New Zealand