27 Feb : New Zealand has snatched a dramatic last-ball victory in the second Twenty20 cricket match to clinch the series 2-0 against India, who very nearly pulled off an incredible win in the dying moments of the thriller.
Chasing a modest 150 to win, the hosts were cruising along comfortable before the Indians changed the complexion of the game with some tidy spin bowling and Irfan Pathan’s double strike in the 18th over.
Needing 12 runs off Pathan’s last over, the Kiwis rode on Brendon McCullum’s unbeaten 69 to scrape through to record their third consecutive victory against the world champions.
The home team won the thrilling match by five wickets.The result of the ding-dong battle at Westpac stadium could have been different had substitute fielder Rohit Sharma latched on to a difficult catch off McCullum, which would have carried the game to the eliminator stage.
Put into bat, India’s formidable batting failed to click for the second time on the trot, leaving New Zealand with a fairly simple task of scoring 7.50 runs per over.
Only Yuvraj Singh hit 50 off 34 balls and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 not out) and Virender Sehwag (24) were the other notable contributors.
The New Zealand run chase began with a flourish with McCullum and Jesse Ryder (26) putting on a brisk 53-run partnership.In the Indian innings, as in the first T20 at Christchurch the Indian top order collapsed like a pack of cards to bring the pressure on the middle order batsmen.
Virender Sehwag was at his belligerent best, savaging Tim Southee and Iain O’Brien at will. But he chanced his arms too often and offered a simple catch to Vettori at mid-off.When Suresh Raina (4) and Gautam Gambhir fell close on the heels of each other, India were deep in the woods at 47 for three.But Yuvraj Singh (50) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 not out) returned India back into the game, posting a measured 45 runs for the fourth wicket.
India 149 for six in 20 overs (Yuvraj Singh 50, MS Dhoni 28; Iain O’ Brein 2/30, I Butler 2/42). New Zealand 150 for five in 20 overs (B McCullum 69 not out, R Taylor 27; I Pathan 2/41).