India vs New Zealand: KL Rahul achieves historic first with consecutive half centuries
KL Rahul was the star performer for India once again with the bat as the right-hander slammed a brilliant 57 off 50 deliveries to guide his team to victory against New Zealand in the second T20I encounter in Auckland on Sunday. Chasing a modest target of 133, the wicket-keeper batsman played a mature innings to ensure his team’s victory and he stayed at the crease till the very end. This was the first instance ever in the history of T20Is that a wicket-keeper batsman slammed two consecutive fifties in his first two games in the role. Previously, Rahul scored 56 off 27 balls in the first T20I encounter as India chased down a formidable target of 205.
Thanks to his second half century in two matches, he also joined MS Dhoni in the list of most half-centuries for an Indian wicket-keeper in T20Is.Both of them have two fifties while Rishabh Pant has scored one.
India again outclassed New Zealand as they coasted to a seven-wicket victory in the second T20I. On the Eden Park ground renowned for its short boundaries, New Zealand struggled with the bat and posted a meagre 132 for five, batting first against a disciplined Indian attack.
KL Rahul cracked his second half-century in as many matches to lead India’s reply in which they reeled in the target for the loss of only three wickets and with 15 balls to spare.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli could scarcely contain his glee when he lost the toss and heard his New Zealand opposite Kane Williamson choosing to bat first.
“Oh happy days,” he exclaimed, adding that bowling first is India’s strength and that was the call he would have made had he won the toss.
(With agency inputs)