Right then! Not totally unexpected. New Zealand have bounced back to level the series. What can we expect in Thiruvananthapuram? Will it be India or the Kiwis? A Super Over perhaps? That would be thrilling. Both sides would be ruing their fielding effort in their respective losses and will aim to put their best foot forward in the decider. Hopefully, we get a cracker. The game is scheduled on Tuesday, 7th November, 2017 at 1900 local (1330 GMT). Adios! Take Care!
Any guesses who is the Man Of The Match? You can clap for yourself as a prize. COLIN MUNRO could have done nothing wrong tonight. He could have as well won a lottery had he applied for one. Cheekily admits that a few chances went his way but he enjoyed playing those big shots. Credits the planning (of the NZ Board) to stage the 'A' tour before this series and says that helped him to acclimatize to the conditions. On being asked his mantra, he says it does not matter whether he is chasing or batting first. Just keeps his head still and does not pre-meditate, which is the advice given to him by coach Craig McMillan.
Victorious Kiwi captain, KANE WILLIAMSON smiles and says that it was a contrasting performance from Delhi. He admits that to beat India one needs to be at his best and now their challenge is to replicate the same in the third T20I. Praises Munro for his century and also Guptill, for that brisk wonderful stand. Now, he praises Tom Bruce as well. Then he comes to the bowlers, does not praise every individual, but does praise them as a unit. On his two spinners doing well tonight, he says that one should always emulate from the strengths of the opposition and he has full faith and confidence in the experience of his two tweakers.
Indian skipper, VIRAT KOHLI praises the Kiwi batting and says that India were expecting 225-230 at one stage. Credits Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah for pulling things back to keep New Zealand under 200 but quickly admits that the batting was not good enough. Stresses that while chasing a big total, it is never enough for only one batsman to keep scoring and everyone needs to chip in. Adds that he tried his best, praises Dhoni for his hits towards the end but eventually, it did not help. Does not want to look too much into the promotion of Hardik Pandya and says that such gambles sometimes work, sometimes they don't. He is confident that both batsmen are good enough to bat at any position. Does admit that the surface started to grip a bit after 13-14 overs once the ball got scuffed up but does not want to give any excuses and makes a straight statement - not good enough with the bat.
ISH SODHI says that it was a pretty flat wicket and jokes that the hundred was very special and Munro will remember it for the rest of his life. On his own bowling, he says that the ball got scuffed back a bit and he got plenty of assistance from the wicket. On the wrong 'un to dismiss Pandya, Sodhi says that he has been practicing it a lot in the nets and is just figuring out the right moment to bowl those. On being asked which ball he is more comfortable with - the leg spinner or the googly - Ish says that you just need to keep practicing. Feels that winning tonight is a massive plus for his side. The presentation is coming up...
Could India have won this? Ummm... perhaps. The outfield was quick, the ground was not that big and the pitch was a batting beauty with Virat Kohli in form. But time and again, we have observed that if the Indian openers fail, the team stutters. The move to promote Iyer to number 3 was applauded by everyone with the youngster racing to 20 from 12 balls. But then some pressure got the better of him and he threw it away. The rare flop of Hardik and the biggest surprise - Kohli and Dhoni struggling in the death overs. All these factors contributed to a loss. Perhaps the pitch slowed up towards the end. Perhaps Dhoni struggled. Either ways, Kohli got under pressure and New Zealand capitalized.
The Kiwi spinners outdid their counterparts tonight. While Chahal and Axar went for 75 in 7 overs with a wicket, Sodhi and Santner had combined figures of 8-0-56-2. The Indian middle order could not get them away at all, in spite of having set batsmen in the middle. Another bowler worth mentioning is Adam Milne. A look at his figures and one would ask - 4-0-30-0 - big deal? Well, he conceded just 8 runs in his 2 overs in the Powerplay and just 6 of his third in the 15th over. That is the big deal.
It is often said that a good start is the key to great success. New Zealand struggled in Delhi, allowing the Indian openers to get a big stand. Tonight, they dismissed both of them in the space of 6 balls, with spearhead Trent Boult breathing fire. The other bowlers made use of that start and kept piling on the pressure and India were always behind the eight-ball. There was a bit of a chance for India during the Iyer-Kohli stand but once the former threw his wicket away, it went all downhill.
We will have a decider in Thiruvananthapuram. Excellent bowling from New Zealand. Not quite sure whether 196 was a big enough score to defend but they have certainly made it look like that. The win has not been an over or two where the game might have swung. It is by a massive 40 runs which shows the strength of their bowling unit.
Trent Boult to Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Full on middle, pushed towards long on for one. That ends the match, with NEW ZEALAND WINNING BY 40 RUNS.
Trent Boult to Jasprit Bumrah
Oohh... nearly a five-for! Outside off, Bumrah pushes at it and gets an inside edge, which just misses the stumps en route towards fine leg! Just a single.
A yorker to start, right on middle, Bumrah digs it out towards point and sets off for a single but is sent back.
JASPRIT BUMRAH walks in at number 9, replacing Dhoni. 5-fer still on?
Trent Boult to MS Dhoni
OUT! Mr. Butter Fingers takes it! Santner was the one to drop Dhoni in the previous over and it is Santner who denies MS his half century. A short ball, Dhoni looks to pull but gets a top edge which just spoons to square leg. Mitchell Santner does not have to move an inch and takes a sitter. A forgetful innings for Dhoni.
That is his fifty! Oops, not yet. Full and outside off. MS smashes it towards long off but DOES NOT TAKE the single.
SIX! Oh there is one more thing to look forward to. Can Dhoni hit six sixes and generate some interest in this game? A length ball, Dhoni swings it miles over mid-wicket! Just that it has come years too late.
Okay. Final over. What do we look for in this match? A possible Boult 5-fer?
Adam Milne to MS Dhoni
A short ball, pulled through mid-wicket for a single to keep strike. 16 from the over but this can be considered an aberration. He went for 14 in his three overs before this and pretty much stifled India for runs.
FOUR! A full toss now, Dhoni whips it through square leg and gets a boundary.
WIDE. A slower ball, down the leg side, short in length, Dhoni looks to pull but misses.