A clinical bowling performance by debutant Harshal Patel (2/25) and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (1/19), Axar Patel (1/26) helped India restrict New Zealand to 153/6 in the second T20I of the three-match series, at the JSCA International Stadium, here on Friday.
Glenn Phillips (34 off 21) was the top-scorer for the Black Caps, who didn't get the momentum after the Powerplay.
Asked to bat first, openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell gave New Zealand a solid start. Among the two, Guptill was the more aggressive and he targeted Bhuvneshwar Kumar, taking his team to 42/0 after 4 overs.
Deepak Chahar gave India the much-needed breakthrough by removing the dangerous Guptill (31 from 15) in the fifth over. Mark Chapman joined Mitchell in the middle and took New Zealand to 64/1 at the end of the Powerplay.
After the first six overs, the Indian bowlers slowed the run rate with their disciplined length and line. Both Chapman and Mitchell were not able to free their arms and relied on strike rotation.
The pressure brought another wicket for India as Mark Chapman (21 off 17) got out to Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner dished out a flighted delivery and pitched it up as Chapman launched it straight to the fielder in the deep, leaving New Zealand to 79/2 after 8.5 overs.
Spinners Axar and Ashwin along with debutant Harshal Patel kept things tight in the next few overs with Glenn Philips and Mitchell at the crease. In order to break the shackles, a low full toss from Axar was smashed by Glenn Phillips to long-off, where Venkatesh Iyer failed to grab the catch.
However, the Kiwis couldn't take advantage of the dropped catch as Harshal got his first wicket in international cricket by dismissing Mitchell (31 off 28). It was again the slower delivery, the same weapon that made him the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 which worked for Patel as Mitchell holed out to Suryakumar Yadav at long-on.
Tim Seifert came to bat next and tried to steady Black Caps's ship along with Glenn Phillips, helping their team cross the 100 run mark in the 13th over. The duo added some valuable runs for New Zealand before Ashwin returned back to get rid of Seifert, who tried to play a reverse sweep but the ball went straight to short third man.
Soon, Harshal Patel got rid of Glenn Phillips (34), putting New Zealand in deep trouble at 137/5 after 16.3 overs. From there on, the next few batters -- James Neesham (3), Mitchell Santner (8), Adam Milne (5) couldn't do much.
All of India's bowlers took pace off their deliveries and didn't offer anything in the arc as New Zealand couldn't find the fence in their last 29 balls and in the end could score 153/6 in 20 overs.
New Zealand 153-6 in 20 overs (Glenn Phillips 34; Harshal Patel 2/25, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/19) against India