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Rahul, Rohit's fifties help India seal three-match T20I series against New Zealand

Rahul, Rohit's fifties help India seal three-match T20I series against New Zealand

Ranchi, Nov 19 (UNI) India sealed the T20 International series against New Zealand with a game to spare after a swashbuckling KL Rahul (65) and Rohit Sharma (55) scintillating knocks in the second and penultimate match here on Friday.
The hosts won by seven wickets by chasing down 154 runs target set by the visitors. They won the opener in a thrilling Jaipur match by 5 wickets on Wednesday.
Rohit started sedately, but his opening partner Rahul took on the New Zealand bowlers as boundaries rained from his willow.
Rahul managed to come out all guns blazing. He scored 65 of 49 balls and shared a 117-run stand for first wicket with Rohit before Glenn Phillips took a skier near the boundary ropes ended his innings.
Rohit got into act in 10th over taking Mitchell Santner to cleaners by spanking two mighty sixes and then hoicked Adam Milne for maximum in the next over, making his intentions clear.
After Rahul's departure, Rohit reached his 25th T20I fifty by hooking Adam Milne over fine leg for six in the 15th over to bring India closer to the target. But he did not last long, he exited after chipping Tim Southee's off-cutter to Martin Guptill, before spanking one boundary and 5 sixes in his 36-ball knock.
In the same over, Southee cleaned up Suryakumar Yadav (1). Rishanh Pand (12 no) and Venkatesh Iyer (12 no) saw India through in 17.2 overs.
Earlier, debutant Harshal Patel started his T20I with a bang by picking up crucial wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips, who were major contributors for New Zealand, who ended at 153 for 6, setting India 154 runs to seal the three-match T20I series.
Continuing his superb IPL display, Harshal sent back Daryl and Phillips at the right time when both were looking to accelerate the run rate.
The Haryana lad almost had his third wicket of the very next ball after sending back Phillips in the 17th over. James Neesham (3) was comprehensively beaten and played early as he failed to pick the slower angling delivery from round the wicket.
Harshal ended with 2 for 25 in his stipulated four overs. Not only he, other bowlers also bowled brilliantly. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel put on a good show in the middle overs despite the ball being wet.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar picked one wicket each and did not offer anything in the arc along with the spinners, who binded New Zealand from hitting boundaries in the last 29 balls.
Put into bat, New Zealand witnessed a good start as Martin Guptill and Daryl (31) put on 48 runs for the first wicket in just 4.2 overs, before Guptill (31) was caught by Rishabh Pant off Deepak Chahar.
In the ninth over, Mark Chapman (21 off 17) was sent back to the pavilion, with New Zealand reaching 79 for 2.
Daryl failed to raise the tempo as he scored 31 runs before getting out in the 13th over. The opener became the second wicket of Harshal after Suryakumar Yadav latched on to his lofted shot.
Phillips was then joined by Tim Seifert on the field. Both added 35 runs and 22 balls for the fourth wicket, taking their team to 125 for 4 in 15.1 overs. Seifert (13) was caught by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar off Ravichandran Ashwin who took the only wicket of the match.
Phillips and Neesham departed without making any impact. They were sent back by Harshal and Bhuvaneshwar.
Phillips made 34 off 21 balls studded with one boundary and 2 sixes, before was caught by substitute Ruturaj Gaikwad off debutant Harshal Patel.
Mitchell Santner and Adam Milne remained not out at 8 and 5, respectively.
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