Sharma claims record as India cruise past New Zealand
Rohit Sharma became the highest run scorer in Twenty20 international history Friday as India romped to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20 in Auckland.
Sharma top-scored for the tourists with 50 as India chased down New Zealand's modest 159-run target in 18.5 overs, levelling the three-match series at 1-1.
Sharma's knock was his 16th T20 half century and took his career tally in the format to 2,288 runs, overtaking New Zealand's Martin Guptill on 2,272.
His team dominated New Zealand with bat and ball to avenge an 80-run loss in the opening fixture in Wellington - India's heaviest ever T20 defeat.
Sharma, who is standing in as captain while Virat Kohli is rested, had demanded greater consistency ahead of the match.
His bowlers responded with early wickets as man-of-the-match Krunal Pandya took three for 28 and India restricted New Zealand to 158 for eight.
Colin de Grandhomme gave the Black Caps some hope, hitting a maiden T20 half century off 27 balls as part of a 77-run partnership with Ross Taylor, who made 42.
But the hosts could not break the shackles and tight bowling at the death prevented them from taking advantage of Eden Park's short boundaries.
India had no such problem in reply, making a flying start with Sharma leading the way.
His 50 included four sixes and three fours off 28 balls.
There was ample support from Shikhar Dhawan, who made 30, and Rishabh Pant on 40 as India made 162 for three without looking troubled.
The final match of the series is at Hamilton on Sunday.
New Zealand 158 for eight in second T20 against India
New Zealand made 158 for eight batting first in the second Twenty20 match against India at Auckland's Eden Park on Friday.
India performed well with the ball after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat, taking early wickets then restricting the Black Caps with some tight bowling to close the innings.
Krunal Pandya took three for 28 and Khaleel Ahmed finished with figures of two for 27 as the tourists prevented New Zealand from exploiting Eden Park's short boundaries.
The hosts were looking shaky at 50 for four before Colin de Grandhomme lifted the pace, hitting a maiden T20 half century off 27 balls that included four sixes.
De Grandhomme miscued the ball straight to Rohit Sharma after reaching the milestone, ending a 77-run partnership with Ross Taylor which was the highlight of the New Zealand innings.
Taylor departed on 42 after a superb run out from Vijay Shankar, who made a direct hit on the stumps after firing the ball in from deep in the outfield.
India slumped to an 80-run loss in the opening fixture - their worst ever T20 defeat - and need a win to keep the three-match series alive.
The tourists have stuck with the same team they fielded in Wellington, including eight specialist batsmen, and will back themselves to overhaul the modest target.
New Zealand win toss, bat first in second India T20
New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first as they look to wrap up the series in the second Twenty20 against India at Eden Park on Friday.
India slumped to an 80-run loss in the opening fixture - their worst ever T20 defeat - and are desperate to redeem themselves and keep the three-match series alive.
Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson said everything clicked for the hosts in the first match in Wellington and they wanted to maintain momentum.
"That doesn't happen every day but hopefully we can keep making strides in that direction," he said.
"It's usually a pretty good surface here so we'll try to make use of that and get a good total."
Both New Zealand and India named unchanged teams for the fixture, with the tourists fielding eight specialist batsmen in order to exploit Eden Park's short boundaries.
Captain Rohit Sharma said the key for his team was maintaining pressure throughout the innings, not just in patches.
"We need to keep doing the right things and doing it consistently, not just for a few overs then giving away freebies," he said.
"That's what went wrong in the last game. Hopefully we can come out and correct those mistakes, not repeat them."
New Zealand: Tim Seifert, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Umpires: Wayne Knights (NZL), Chris Brown (NZL)
TV Umpire: Shaun Haig (NZL)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
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