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India pull off low-scoring T20 thriller, level series

India pull off low-scoring T20 thriller, level series

By BD Narayankar
Lucknow, Jan 29 (UNI) In a thrilling low-scoring encounter bereft of a single six, India registered a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20 match here on Sunday.
This win helped India level the three-match T20 series.
New Zealand opted to bat first and ended up scoring the lowest total ever against the hosts. Nobody would have expected that this game would go down to the wire, while chasing a mere 100 runs target.
Most of the New Zealand top order batsmen were not playing with straight bats. In fact, the first three wickets fell to reverse sweeps.
None apart from Mitchell Santner timed the ball sweetly. Even Santner lost his touch in the last over.
India's spinners were extraordinary on a rank turner of a track, who restricted New Zealand to 99/8. The previous lowest total against India was 111 runs in 2021.
With the pitch offering a sharp turn, wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav (1/17) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/4), made merry, and finger spinner Washington Sundar (1/17) put the brakes.
Chahal drew first blood by trapping opener Finn Allen leg before as he tried to reverse sweep. The visitors were soon tottering at 35/3 in the seventh over when Glenn Phillips was castled by Deepak Hooda in a bid to reverse-sweep.
In reply, India lost three wickets in a hurry as Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, and Rahul Tripathi walked back early.
Washington Sundar was run-out in a terrible mixup with Suryakumar Yadav. To obliterate the mistake, Suryakumar and Hardik Pandya stabilised the innings and put up an unbeaten 31-run stand. Despite this, things came to 6 off 6, and Hardik hit his first boundary off his 31st ball, which also was a winning shot.
Suryakumar smashed a boundary, helping India register a win with a ball to spare.
Brief scores: New Zealand 99/8 in 20 overs (Mitchell Santner 19*; Arshdeep Singh 2/7, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/4) lost to India 101/4 in 19.5 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 26*; Michael Bracewell 1/13) by six wickets.
UNI BDN GNK

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