Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Clinical New Zealand outclass India to step ahead. New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets and 33 balls to spare
New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets and 33 balls to spare
In a nutshell
Have you had those dreams in which you just cannot move, however hard you try? India must have felt like being in one on Sunday (October 31). In a batting effort straight from the nightmares, they didn't hit a single boundary between overs 7-15 and as a result, were kept to only 110/7, their second-lowest total across T20 WCs. It wasn't a flying start for New Zealand on a slow, two-paced pitch but the run-chase proved to be. With the hard work done earlier by Trent Boult and Co, it was a rather comfortable win for them in the end, achieved by eight wickets with 5.3 overs to spare.
Brief Scores: India 110/7 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 26*; Trent Boult 3-20) lost to New Zealand 111/2 in 14.3 overs (Daryl Mitchell 49, Kane Williamson 33*; Jasprit Bumrah 2-19) by 8 wickets
Just what happened there?
Teams have won the toss and batted first in Dubai, but India perhaps endured a plight much worse than other teams. While the West Indies were bowled out for 55 at the same venue earlier in the tournament, India instead just couldn't get a move on. And whenever they tried to break the shackles and go big, all they found were fielders in the deep. That's how India's first three wickets – Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma fell, and all of them to three different bowlers, hammering home the point that it was never easy for India across the 20 overs.
Yes, you'll have questions…
Was the pitch unplayable? Nah. Did India set themselves an impossible target and lost wickets trying to attack more than they should have? Probably. What's the conclusion? New Zealand's skills in these conditions were just too good for India in the end. Or like Virat Kohli put it after the loss, “we weren't brave enough.”
So was it the lack of intent?
No, certainly not. Six out of the seven batsmen to fall were caught in the deep trying to go for the big hits, so it certainly wasn't for the lack of them trying. They even tried a new opening combination of Kishan-Rahul by pushing Rohit Sharma down to No.3 but most of the batters chose the wrong shots and were tested by the long boundaries in Dubai. Like Kishan hit a leg-stump half volley from Boult straight to deep square leg and Rahul pulled a short cutter straight to deep midwicket. Rohit, in fact, hit a long hop straight to long-on.
What about the repair work from 40 for 3…
Kohli tried to play the anchor, picking 9 off 16 in singles and doubles but a rushed slog-sweep off the 17th ball gave Ish Sodhi his second wicket of the night, and in turn pushed India deeper into the mire. Rishabh Pant was then bowled by Adam Milne, who had come into the side at the cost of Tim Seifert while Boult's final over accounted for both Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur. The latter's wicket was in fact Boult's 50th in T20Is and the left-armer finished the game with 3 for 20. He didn't quite get them like Shaheen Afridi, like he wanted to, but he wouldn't be complaining.
All perfect from New Zealand then?
Far from it. Boult could have had two of his Mumbai Indians teammates in two balls but Milne dropped Rohit's simple catch at fine leg. There was another dropped catch from Ish Sodhi off the last ball of the innings but these hardly hurt the side in the face of all the good things they did. Like James Neesham's effort to save a six from Hardik Pandya in the 14th over, flying backwards at deep square leg and almost pulling off a stunning catch one-handed. Or like Mitchell Santer's figures of 4-0-15-0, bowling 11 dot balls and four out of those in the powerplay. Or like Kane Williamson's bowling changes and fields to back that up.
The chase from New Zealand was ____
Despite losing Martin Guptill to Jasprit Bumrah early, they added 44 runs in the powerplay, swatting aside about 40 percent of the runs they were required to score. India even started with Varun Chakaravarthy to look for early wickets but both Guptill and Daryl Mitchell picked him alright, with the latter even going on to top-score with 49 off 35 balls. The opener hit 3 sixes, which was one more than India managed all night.
What does this result mean?
Now sitting fifth on the Group 2 points table, India face Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their next three matches, but even victories in all of them might hard-press them for qualification. New Zealand, with a head start of two points, also face the same three teams and are now favourites to qualify behind Pakistan.
The games now come thick and fast for both these teams who play their next game on November 3. India will take on Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi whereas New Zealand will clash with Scotland in Dubai.
Stats that matter