India took an unassailable 2-0 series lead
against New Zealand with their clinical victory over the Blackcaps in the
second ODI at Raipur on Saturday. The Indian seamers ran riot with the new ball
as the Men in Blue skittled the Kiwis for just 108 in 34.3 overs before Rohit
Sharma’s majestic half-century took the hosts home with eight wickets to spare,
sealing the series win ahead of the third and final ODI.
India’s pacers wreaked havoc with the new
ball after Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl. The bowlers put the
balls in the right areas and found some movement to reduce New Zealand to 15
for five after 10.3 overs. Mohammed Shami started the innings with a wicket maiden
which included the scalp of Finn Allen, who had his stumps uprooted after
swinging across the line. Mohammed Siraj ended Henry Nicholls’ troubled time at
the crease with a delivery that seamed away and caught the edge on its way to
Shami and Hardik Pandya added another
couple of strikes with a pair of excellent reflex catches of their own bowling
to dismiss Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway, while Shardul Thakur nicked off Tom
Latham to the slips to pick up India’s fifth wicket.
15 was the lowest score New Zealand have
managed for the loss of their fifth wicket in ODI history, and the visitors
were in desperate need of some resistance to avoid breaking more unwanted
records. Glenn Phillips and Michael Bracewell mounted a brief comeback to take
the Kiwis past 50, but Mohammed Shami returned to dismiss the left-hander with
a bouncer in the 19th over.
Hardik Pandya picked up his second wicket
to dismiss Mitchell Santner, who was the third Kiwi batter to reach double
figures, before the Indian spinners wrapped up the tail in the span of three
overs. Washington Sundar had Glenn Phillips and Lockie Ferguson caught in the
deep on the leg-side, while Kuldeep Yadav finished off the New Zealand innings
with the wicket of Blair Tickner.
Chasing a modest target of 109, the Indian
openers wasted no time at the crease. Rohit Sharma bagged his first boundary of
the innings with a pull shot, and the Indian skipper played a range of
eye-catching strokes all across the ground to take the hosts within touching distance
Sharma departed shortly after reaching his
half-century, but Shubman Gill wrapped up the win with an unbeaten 40 of 53
deliveries to secure the series win for the Men in Blue.