India claim T20 Series victory over New Zealand with win in Ranchi


India cruised to a second victory over World Cup runners-up New Zealand on Friday to claim their three-match series.

The victory gave new coach Rahul Dravid and new T20 captain Rohit Sharma their first series win.

Set 154 to win in front of a packed house in Ranchi, India crossed the line in the 18th over having lost only three wickets, avenging their eight-wicket hammering by the Black Caps in the World Cup.

India made a slower start than New Zealand, making 45 in the power play compared to the visitors’ 64.

But KL Rahul and Rohit, turned up the tempo after the 10th over off some lacklustre bowling from Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult.

Rahul, who moved to his half-century in style with a six off Adam Milne, departed for 65 off 49 balls to a Glenn Philipps catch off the bowling of stand-in captain Tim Southee.

Rohit and Rahul guide India

Rohit was dropped by Boult in the 10th over and went on to secure his 25th half-century in the format before handing a dolly catch to Martin Guptill to give Southee his second scalp.

Suryakumar Yadav would chop on for 1 to make it three wickets for Southee but Rishabh Pant finished the job with two successive sixes off Jimmy Neesham.

India made one change after the first match of the three-match series on Wednesday, with Harshal Patel replacing the injured Mohammed Siraj.

The visitors made three changes with Milne, Ish Sodhi and Neesham coming in for Lockie Ferguson, Rachin Ravindra and Todd Astle. Skipper Kane Williamson is being rested for the series.

Rohit said he has full confidence in his young team and didn’t doubt they could get the job done.

“Great effort from entire unit, wasn’t the easiest of conditions but the way we applied ourselves was great,” Rohit said.

“Under pressure, we know their quality as a batting outfit.

“I kept telling the bowlers it’s just about one wicket, if we get that we can put the brakes.

“We know the quality of our spinners and can always pull things back. The bench strength, these guys have been performing consistently, so there’s pressure on the guys on the field.

“Important for me to give them freedom and the external things will take care of themselves. It’s a young team, a lot haven’t played a lot of games.”