Kiwis claim thriller
By Ashok Venugopal | Published: 12th September 2012 11:01 AM |
Brendon McCullum’s breezy 91 and intelligent bowling by Jacom Oram and James Franklin at the death enabled New Zealand to pull off a thrilling one-run win over India in the 2nd T20 International at Chepauk. With this win, New Zealand won the two-match T20 series 1-0 after the first match was washed out in Vizag.
When four was required off the last ball for win, Rohit Sharma could muster only a brace to long on off Franklin. Had MS Dhoni taken a couple instead of a single from the third ball in the final over, India stood a chance to win the game. The next ball saw Yuvraj (34) being castled by Franklin.
Manoj Tiwary came in for injured Virender Sehwag. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who is making a comeback, was not included for the match.
Chasing 168 for win, India made a poor start. The new opening combo of Gautham Gambhir-Virat Kohli failed to click. After Gambhir was out cheaply, Kohli played positively, straight driving Adam Milne for a boundary. He cut, pulled and drove with panache. His trademark cover drive off Daniel Vettori to the fence was executed with perfection.Kohli stitched useful partnerships with Suresh Raina and Yuvraj to get India past the 100-run mark.
Yuvraj enjoyed a slice of luck but looked compact. Although his strokes lacked the usual punch, he made up for it by timing the ball to a nicety. In trying to bring down the asking rate, Kohli (70) holed out in the deep off Franklin. When Dhoni stepped in the equation read (47 off 39 balls). Dhoni for the major part of his stay found it difficult to score boundaries, as Jacob Oram was accurate and nagging.
Earlier, New Zealand made 167 for 5, thanks to a brilliant 55-ball 91 by Brendon McCullum, who did not allow the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to settle down. Ashwin went wicketless, conceding 34 runs in four overs.New Zealand made a disastrous start with both the openers Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill getting out cheaply. Nicol was castled by a peach of a delivery from Zaheer Khan. Nicol’s intended glide was badly timed as the ball kicked on to the stumps off the batsman’s pads. In the second over, Irfan Pathan bowled Guptill through the gate. McCullum and Kane Williamson stemmed the rot with a 90-run stand. Barring one or two loose deliveries that Williamson carted to the fence, the Indian bowlers were on target with Zaheer and Irfan firing on all cylinders.
McCullum’s flick off Zaheer for a boundary sent the crowd into raptures. Williamson while playing an adventurous scoop, mistimed and the skier was neatly held by R Ashwin at fine leg with Pathan getting his second wicket.
Yuvraj and Ashwin erred in length and also gave the width to play the shots freely. McCullum once carted Yuvraj over the ropes and his 50 came off just 35 balls.
T20 Debut for Balaji
Tamil Nadu’s favourite cricketer Lakshmipathy Balaji made his T20 debut in front of his home crowd. Two key TN bowlers Balaji and Ashwin got a chance to play together in an international match at Chepauk after a long time. After making his debut against New Zealand almost a decade ago, Balaji, who has been in and out of the Indian team because of injuries, was given a warm welcome by the fans.
Excellent effort by curator K Parthasarathy and his team of groundsmen meant the match started on time despite heavy showers in the city on Monday evening.