India crush New Zealand by 8 wickets

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Captain Rohit Sharma struck an eye-catching fifty while Shubman Gill remained unbeaten on 40 to lead India to an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second One-Day International here on Saturday.

After the Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami’s 3/18, bowled accurately, fetched good swing, turn, and bounce, and took sharp return catches to bowl out New Zealand for 108.

In response, Rohit scored 51 and led the charge to a total of 20.1 overs. The victory also gives India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, as well as their second ODI series victory at home this year.

Except for Lockie Ferguson, New Zealand bowlers were unable to extract the same degree of movement as Indian bowlers did in the opening ten overs. This made it possible for Rohit and Gill to tee off with ease.

While Rohit easily pulled and sliced off Henry Shipley’s short deliveries, Gill began with an uppish square drive over backward point off the same bowler, which resulted in three boundaries in the first four overs.

Rohit struck the first six of the match with ease, hooking off Ferguson’s speed over fine leg. Gill was quick to lean into the drive through cover when he overpitched for four more.

India skipper hit some magnificent power-play smashes, including a four-ball flash over mid-wicket from Blair Tickner, before going inside-out smoothly over extra cover for a majestic six.

In the 13th over, he welcomed Mitchell Santner with a hard sweep through square leg, before Gill grabbed another boundary off him through the outside edge running wide of slip. Two overs after his fifty, Rohit attempted to work a short ball from Shipley through leg-side. However, the ball remained low and struck Rohit on the knee roll, trapping him lbw for 51.

In the 17th over, Virat Kohli delivered a wonderful straight drive, displaying the full face of the bat for a delightful boundary off Shipley, before driving aggressively over backward square leg to make it two fours.

In the 18th over, Gill welcomed Michael Bracewell with a pull and sweep over the mid-wicket boundary for two boundaries, bringing India closer to victory. Though Kohli was stumped for 11 by Santner, Ishan Kishan hit two boundaries off spinners before Gill hit the winning runs by gliding down the pitch and lofting over mid-on off Santner to seal India’s stunning triumph.

New Zealand 108 all out in 34.3 overs (Glenn Phillips 36, Mitchell Santner 27; Mohammed Shami 3/18, Washington Sundar 2/7) lost to India 111/2 in 20.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 51, Shubman Gill 40 not out; Mitchell Santner 1/28, Henry Shipley 1/29) by eight wickets

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