Jadeja, Saini efforts go in vain as New Zealand beat India to clinch series 2-0
For the second time in a row, New Zealand got the better of the mighty Indians to clinch the series 2-0 in the 2nd ODI at Eden Park. It was a special effort from the Kiwis, especially after being drubbed 5-0 in the T20Is. The Virat Kohli-led side was yet again found wanting as they yet again allowed the game to slip through their hands after controlling it for a majority of the first half.
New Zealand innings:
On a track that was tailor-made for batting, Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first. Batting first, the BlackCaps' openers laid a strong foundation with an opening partnership of 93. Indian bowlers failed to make early inroads but came storming back midway through the New Zealand innings.
The hosts were reduced from 141/1 to 187 /7 as they lost six wickets for just 46 runs. At a stage when 300 looked gettable, New Zealand middle-order crumbled under pressure to concede the advantage to their opponents. However, Ross Taylor and Kyle Jamieson added 76 runs for the ninth wicket to plan their team's recovery after a middle-order collapse. Kiwis finished with 273 for 8 in their 50 overs.
Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners at the fag end of the Kiwi innings. for the hosts, Taylor played a crucial hand with an unbeaten 73 off 74 deliveries. He was well supported by the debutant Jamieson who contributed with a precious 25-run knock. Indian bowlers lacked control both at the start and towards the end of the innings. Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with 3/58 in his 10 overs,
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Chasing 274 runs to stay alive in the series, Indian top-order didn't get off to the greatest of the starts. The opening duo of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal couldn't make much of a difference as Mayank departed for 3 in just the third over of the innings. Even Virat Kohli, who joined Shaw at the other end, couldn't survive for long as Tim Southee went through his defenses as India were down to 57/3.
The duo of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul couldn't repeat their heroics from Hamilton as Rahul played on for 4. Iyer after reaching his well-deserving fifty threw his wicket on the very next ball. Ravindra Jadeja was the last man standing and it was nearly all-over for the Indians until Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini showed their skills with the bat.
Saini played a fascinating knock that gave India hope to inch closer to the target. He scored a 49-ball 45 and added 76 runs along with Jadeja for the eighth wickets. However, after his dismissal, it was all down to Jadeja's hitting prowess to take India home. The Southpaw reached his fifty but failed to take India over the line.
Kiwis bowled better towards the end as they held their nerves and edged out India in a thriller with a 22-run win. It was a game that ebbed and flowed at various moments. Both the teams were in it even until the 48th overs, but it was the Kiwis who emerged on the better side of the result.
Man of the Match:
The debutant Kyle Jamieson was awarded the Man of the Match for his crucial hand of 25 in Kiwis' first innings. He also bowled well to pick two wickets in his quota of ten overs.