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Rahul hits India to T20 series win over NZ


KL Rahul has hit 65 off 49 balls as India romped to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand on Friday in the second Twenty20 to clinch the series.

Rahul put on 117 runs off 80 balls with Rohit Sharma as India scored 3-155-3 response to New Zealand’s 6-153.

Rahul hit six fours and two sixes while Sharma scored 55 off 36 balls, including one four and five sixes.

Their sparkling opening partnership paved the way for India’s dominant win at a dew-soaked JSCA International Stadium. The hosts took a 2-0 lead in the three-match contest.

Sharma’s 29th half century in T20 internationals brought him on par with compatriot Virat Kohli, who is rested from this series.

Rahul scored his 16th T20 half century.

“Think we did really well pulling the game back after the first six (overs),” Rahul said. “We always give ourselves a couple of overs to see what the pitch is doing. When we’ve got off to a start like that and have 10 wickets in hand, then we decide we have to go after the bowlers.”

Rishabh Pant finished the game with successive sixes as India sealed the series with 16 balls to spare.

Stand-in skipper Tim Southee finished with 3-16 in his four overs.

Earlier, New Zealand finished with a below-par total after India put them in to bat.

Martin Guptill (31) provided another quick start with three fours and two sixes and put on 48 off 26 balls with Daryl Mitchell (31).

But the other top New Zealand batsmen failed to put up big scores.

Debutant Harshal Patel finished with 2-25 from four overs. Ravichandran Ashwin took 1-19.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better debut,” Patel said. “It is another platform for me to come, perform and show my skills.”



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