India kept their undefeated T20 bilateral series record alive as they outplayed New Zealand in the second T20I at Eden Park in Auckland to win by 7 wickets.
The Indian bowlers made a remarkable comeback after the hiding they received in the first T20I to restrict the Kiwis to a paltry 158-8 in their 20 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent hero of the last match Tim Seifert back to the pavilion early and then Krunal Pandya took over to scalp three breakthroughs.
Krunal's dismissal of Daryl Mitchell caused huge controversy as the third umpire seemingly missed an inside edge that was depicted on the hotspot. His decision was called ridiculous by Simon Doull on air. However, from 50-4, the hosts mounted a commendable recovery thanks to a cameo by Colin de Grandhomme who scored 50 off 28 balls.
Coming out to chase the modest total, India was in command from the outset. Skipper Rohit Sharma returned to form as he smashed 50 off just 29 balls. His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan played a steady innings of 30 before falling to a ripper by Lockie Ferguson.
From therein, MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant saw India through with a small contribution from Vijay Shankar. Dhoni got a massive ovation as he strode out to the middle.
The Bharat Army created a fantastic atmosphere at the stadium making it feel like India's home match.
In the run-chase, Pant played some delightful strokes and none more eye-catching than a wonderful one-handed six over mid-wicket. Naturally, social media was impressed by the youngster's talent.
Dhoni, an inventor and unique personality, pulled out an unseen trick from his magic bag against Ish Sodhi. The 37-year-old was charging down the wicket and on seeing that, the leg spinner pushed one through wide in the hope of stumping him. But Dhoni simply stretched his bat out one-handed. He did it so nonchalantly as if it were a normal occurrence.
This pleased Twitterati no ends.
In the end, Pant finished not out on 40 and Dhoni remained unbeaten on 20 as the series stands 1-1 heading into the last match in Hamilton on February 10.