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India level T20 series against NZ

By The Assam Tribune

AUCKLAND, Feb 8: Mahendra Singh Dhoni watched from the 22 yards distance as his heir apparent Rishabh Pant showed spunk in a tricky situation, guiding India to their maiden T20 International victory on New Zealand soil here on Friday.

The seven-wicket triumph was set up by skipper Rohit Sharma (50 off 29 balls) in company of Shikhar Dhawan (30, 31 balls) with a 79-run stand after Krunal Pandya got three wickets to restrict the hosts to 158/8.

With his whirlwind fifty, Rohit also became the top run-getter in the format, surpassing Martin Guptill.

�Very pleased to see how we bowled, and we were quite clinical with the bat as well,� Rohit said in the post-match presentation.

Dhoni, the original master finisher, couldn�t have been happier as he saw Pant control what could have been a tricky 159-run chase with an unbeaten 40 off 28 balls. The series is now tied 1-1 with the decider in Hamilton on Sunday.

With the former India captain (20 n.o. off 17 balls) playing the role of a mentor at the other end, the 44-run stand was very significant as Indian cricket slowly moves towards a change of guard in coming days.

Pant�s one-handed six off Tim Southee or the bowler�s back drive off Scott Kuggeleijn to finish off the match were reminiscent of Dhoni�s best days. Pant hit four boundaries and a six in all.

Earlier, Rohit�s flicked six off Kuggeleijn over backward square leg was a treat for the eyes but his dismissal along with Vijay Shankar�s did create a bit of unrest. However, Pant ensured that they didn�t press the panic button.

The innings would certainly help him make a strong case for being included in the World Cup squad.

SCORECARD

New Zealand: Tim Seifert c Dhoni b Kumar 12, Colin Munro c Sharma b Krunal Pandya 12, Kane Williamson lbw b Krunal Pandya 20, Daryl Mitchell lbw b Krunal Pandya 1, Ross Taylor run out (Shankar) 42, Colin de Grandhomme c Sharma b Hardik Pandya 50, Mitchell Santner b Ahmed 7, Scott Kuggeleijn not out 2, Tim Southee b Ahmed 3. Extras: (LB-1, W-8) 9. Total: (For 8 wickets in 20 overs) 158. Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-41, 3-43, 4-50, 5-127, 6-153, 7-154, 8-158. Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-29-1, Khaleel Ahmed 4-0-27-2, Hardik Pandya 4-0-36-1, Krunal Pandya 4-0-28-3, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-37-0.

India: Rohit Sharma c Southee b Sodhi 50, Shikhar Dhawan c de Grandhomme b Ferguson 30, Rishabh Pant not out 40, Vijay Shankar c Southee b Mitchell 14, Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 20. Extras: (B-2, LB-1, W-5) 8. Total: (For 3 wickets in 18.5 overs) 162. Fall of wickets: 1-79, 2-88, 3-118. Bowling: Tim Southee 4-0-34-0, Scott Kuggeleijn 3.5-0-32-0, Lockie Ferguson 4-0-31-1, Mitchell Santner 2-0-16-0, Ish Sodhi 4-0-31-1, Daryl Mitchell 1-0-15-1. � PTI

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India level T20 series against NZ

AUCKLAND, Feb 8: Mahendra Singh Dhoni watched from the 22 yards distance as his heir apparent Rishabh Pant showed spunk in a tricky situation, guiding India to their maiden T20 International victory on New Zealand soil here on Friday.

The seven-wicket triumph was set up by skipper Rohit Sharma (50 off 29 balls) in company of Shikhar Dhawan (30, 31 balls) with a 79-run stand after Krunal Pandya got three wickets to restrict the hosts to 158/8.

With his whirlwind fifty, Rohit also became the top run-getter in the format, surpassing Martin Guptill.

�Very pleased to see how we bowled, and we were quite clinical with the bat as well,� Rohit said in the post-match presentation.

Dhoni, the original master finisher, couldn�t have been happier as he saw Pant control what could have been a tricky 159-run chase with an unbeaten 40 off 28 balls. The series is now tied 1-1 with the decider in Hamilton on Sunday.

With the former India captain (20 n.o. off 17 balls) playing the role of a mentor at the other end, the 44-run stand was very significant as Indian cricket slowly moves towards a change of guard in coming days.

Pant�s one-handed six off Tim Southee or the bowler�s back drive off Scott Kuggeleijn to finish off the match were reminiscent of Dhoni�s best days. Pant hit four boundaries and a six in all.

Earlier, Rohit�s flicked six off Kuggeleijn over backward square leg was a treat for the eyes but his dismissal along with Vijay Shankar�s did create a bit of unrest. However, Pant ensured that they didn�t press the panic button.

The innings would certainly help him make a strong case for being included in the World Cup squad.

SCORECARD

New Zealand: Tim Seifert c Dhoni b Kumar 12, Colin Munro c Sharma b Krunal Pandya 12, Kane Williamson lbw b Krunal Pandya 20, Daryl Mitchell lbw b Krunal Pandya 1, Ross Taylor run out (Shankar) 42, Colin de Grandhomme c Sharma b Hardik Pandya 50, Mitchell Santner b Ahmed 7, Scott Kuggeleijn not out 2, Tim Southee b Ahmed 3. Extras: (LB-1, W-8) 9. Total: (For 8 wickets in 20 overs) 158. Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-41, 3-43, 4-50, 5-127, 6-153, 7-154, 8-158. Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-29-1, Khaleel Ahmed 4-0-27-2, Hardik Pandya 4-0-36-1, Krunal Pandya 4-0-28-3, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-37-0.

India: Rohit Sharma c Southee b Sodhi 50, Shikhar Dhawan c de Grandhomme b Ferguson 30, Rishabh Pant not out 40, Vijay Shankar c Southee b Mitchell 14, Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 20. Extras: (B-2, LB-1, W-5) 8. Total: (For 3 wickets in 18.5 overs) 162. Fall of wickets: 1-79, 2-88, 3-118. Bowling: Tim Southee 4-0-34-0, Scott Kuggeleijn 3.5-0-32-0, Lockie Ferguson 4-0-31-1, Mitchell Santner 2-0-16-0, Ish Sodhi 4-0-31-1, Daryl Mitchell 1-0-15-1. � PTI