India outclassed New Zealand by seven wickets in the second T20 International at Eden Park to level the three-match series 1-1 on Friday. Among the home team supporters was former New Zealand cricketer Nathan McCullum with his family to cheer for the Black Caps, who were restricted to a below-par 158 for eight in 20 overs after opting to bat. However, it was Indian crowd in Auckland that amazed McCullum as he acknowledged them for creating "an awesome time for the kids".
"Took my family to the cricket tonight for @BLACKCAPS Great atmosphere @edenparknz with the Indian fans making it an awesome time for the kids. Loud and energetic. Gotta love the passion for the Indian team and players that the fans present. Felt like I was back in India," Nathan McCullum said on Twitter.
Took my family to the cricket tonight for @BLACKCAPS Great atmosphere @edenparknz with the Indian fans making it an awesome time for the kids. Loud and energetic.Gotta love the passion for the Indian team and players that the fans present.Felt like I was back in India— Nathan McCullum (@MccullumNathan) February 8, 2019
Rohit Sharma scored a half-century after becoming the leading run-scorer in T20Is to lead India to a series-levelling win.
Rohit smashed three boundaries and four sixes in his entertaining 29-ball 50.
Leading India in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit gave his team a confident start in the small chase. He stitched a 79-run stand with opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (30).
Former India captain MS Dhoni played the role of mentor for his heir Rishabh Pant, who displayed impressive grit at the other end.
Pant scored the winning boundary off the second-last ball of the 19th over by Scott Kuggeleijn as India chased down the target with seven balls to spare.
In the end, young wicketkeeper-batsman Pant was unbeaten on 40 with Dhoni not out on 20.
The third and final match of the T20I series will be played in Hamilton on Sunday.