Skipper MS Dhoni is well known for his upright and honest responses while taking on the responsibility for a beaten match. In the second ODI, when team India lost to New Zealand by 6 runs, he pointed out rightly, if any batsmen had played more than 15 minutes the outcome would have been different. India's batsmen could not scale up the chase even if a target of 243 was not perceived as a threat to the team. New Zealand defended its score taking down the top order in a short while, slacking India's momentum from the beginning. The condition further waned when the visitors began to remove wickets one after another.
It was Umesh Yadav, who delivered the first dominant bowling attack of the match. He struck New Zealand early in the second ball of the first over to dismiss Martin Guptill. But, the strike emerged as a lone success for India as they could not break the next wicket partnership until 20 overs. In the stretch, Tom Latham and skipper Kane Williamson scored 119 runs. Latham neared his half century at a strike rate of 100. It might be his haste that let Kedar Yadav to trap him at 46. For team India, the wicket could not bring a better tiding. The attack could not deliver any substantial change in the momentum.
The next partnership was for 10.2 overs. Ross Taylor scored 21 of 42 balls, while Williamson was upbeat with his strike. Amit Mishra removed the batsman in the 31st over with a fast ball outside the off stump. Taylor could not resist to strike, becoming his victim. The captain, then partnered with Corey Anderson for another 10 overs hauling the score to 200 plus. Mishra also dismissed Anderson to bring on the figures 4 for 204 for New Zealand. Williamson knocked 118 off 128 before Mishra had him caught at the boundary. After his wicket at 42.4 overs, New Zealand could not hold the strike. For 24 runs, New Zealand lost 5 batsmen including the captain. The score reached 242 by the end of the inning.
The chase was unyielding for New Zealand as well as for India. While bowlers could not take down wickets in the early overs, the batmen failed to add good scores. Thus, the momentum fell and the required strike rate became higher for India down the line. The openers, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, partnered for 7 overs for only 21 runs. Virat Kohli, could not deliver any vigor and was down in the 12th over scoring 9 runs. There was a bit haste from Rahane taking the score to 72, but he was dismissed in the 19th over. The next wicket fell in the following over, there was a dearth of runs and the chase was at 4 for 72.
A better stretch was from captain MS Dhoni and Kedar Yadav taking the score to 139. They partnered for 11 overs until Jadhav was removed by Matt Henry. The player had the top score of the inning. He knocked 41 off 37 balls, with 2 fours and 2 sixes in the stretch. Dhoni remained in the crease hauling the chase to 172 for 6. It was a boundary line for India and a test for the lower order, as India could have still win taking 71 runs off the remaining 63 balls.
Hardik Pandya added a substantial 36 off 32 balls to pull up the chase. He was in the crease till the pre-ultimate over hauling the score to 232. At this point, India required 11 off 8 balls with two wickets remaining. On strike was Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, who had to deal with the responsibility of batting with pressure. It was Tim Southee, who bowled Bumrah to seal the victory and level the series by 1-1. India was at 236 for 10 as the team accepted the first defeat from New Zealand in their current tour.
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