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Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passes away        I find nets claustrophobic, prefer centre wicket for match simulation: Kohli        Rahane's 81 only saving grace in India 203 for 6 on day 1        No more dessert names, Google to officially call new OS 'Android 10'        Sensex, Nifty rebound on hopes of FPI tax rollback        Despite tensions, Pak stands ready to open Kartarpur Corridor: Qureshi        Two Govt hospitals in Pak deny specialised ambulance facility to Sharif        UN, France raise concern over Amazon wildfires 'crisis'        INX Media: SC grants interim protection to Chidambaram in ED case; no relief in CBI matter        Always said demonising Modi wrong: Singhvi        Alert in Tamil Nadu after intel of Lashkar terrorists' intrusion        FM proposes measures to enhance fund flows for infra, housing projs        FATF Asia-Pacific Group puts Pakistan in terror 'blacklist': Officials        Vivek Oberoi to star in film on Balakot air strikes        It's better to get hit early and hard: Kohli on bouncers        Messi 'made me better player', says Ronaldo        Nirav Modi to appear via videolink for remand hearing in UK        Rupee slips 17 paise to 71.72 vs USD in early trade        US seeking balancing act in South Asia over Kashmir: Report        Pro-growth RBI minutes to cap yields; revives expectations for further policy easing        
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Sports News
India level T20 series: Krunal restricts, Rohit blasts, Rishabh finishes
 
(Auckland, Feb 09,2019): Mahendra Singh Dhoni watched from the 22 yards distance as his heir apparent Rishabh Pant showed spunk in a tricky situation, guiding India to their maiden T20 International victory on New Zealand soil here Friday.

The seven-wicket triumph was set up by skipper Rohit Sharma (50 off 29 balls) in company of Shikhar Dhawan (30, 31 balls) with a 79-run stand after Krunal Pandya got three wickets to restrict the hosts to 158/8.

With his whirlwind fifty, Rohit also became the top run-getter in the format, surpassing Martin Guptill.

"Very pleased to see how we bowled, and we were quite clinical with the bat as well," Rohit said in the post-match presentation.

Dhoni, the original master finisher, couldn't have been happier as he saw Pant control what could have been a tricky 159-run chase chase with an unbeaten 40 off 28 balls. The series is now tied 1-1 with the decider in Hamilton on Sunday.

With the former India captain (20 no off 17 balls) playing the role of a mentor at the other end, the 44-run stand was very significant as Indian cricket slowly moves towards a change of guard in coming days.

Pant's one-handed six off Tim Southee or the bowler's back drive off Scott Kuggeleijn to finish off the match were reminiscent of Dhoni's best days. Pant hit four boundaries and a six in all.

Earlier, Rohit's flicked six off Kuggeleijn over backward square leg was a treat for the eyes but his dismissal along with Vijay Shankar's did create a bit of unrest. However, Pant ensured that they didn't press the panic button.

The innings would certainly help him make a strong case for being included in the World Cup squad.

While bowling, Krunal enhanced his already growing reputation as a steady short format bowler with three important breakthroughs as India restricted New Zealand to a below-par 158/8.

"We missed a trick or two with the bat. It was slightly more tricky to bat, but 20 more runs at the death would have been better," said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

The parsimonious Krunal (3/28 in 4 overs) dismissed Colin Munro (12) and skipper Kane Williamson (20) to peg the Black Caps back early in the innings.

In between, Krunal also got the controversial wicket of Daryl Mitchell (1), who fell prey to an umpiring howler, when 'Hotspot' showed a clear inside edge onto the pads.

However, Colin de Grandhomme, who has played for KKR in the IPL, then counter-attacked, scoring a blistering 50 off 28 balls, adding 77 runs with Ross Taylor (42 off 36 balls) for the fifth wicket.

Once De Grandhomme was sent back to the dug-out by Hardik Pandya (1/36 in 4 overs) and Taylor was run-out, New Zealand's chances of a big total went up in smoke.

It was a much-improved performance by the Indian bowlers with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/29 in 4 overs) removing Tim Seifert (12) in the very third over with a fuller delivery, inducing an inside edge to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.

However, it was Krunal, who really applied the brakes after being brought inside the Powerplay overs.

The elder Pandya quickly found the ideal length, bowling his usual wicket to wicket deliveries with a flatter trajectory.

Both Munro and Williamson got skidders. While the left-handed opener Munro hit one straight to the cover, Williamson was caught plumb in-front.

However, it was the dismissal of Mitchell that once again raised the 'Spirit of Cricket' debate even though it was a clear case of an umpiring howler by TV umpire Shaun Haig.

Krunal angled one into Mitchell, who got an inside edge onto the pads. The on-field umpire adjudged him leg before and he promptly asked for DRS.

As the giant screen showed that a faint edge could be detected by Hotspot, to everyone's dismay, TV umpire Shaun Haig pressed the red button to signal out.

After that, it was left to India captain Rohit Sharma to call the player back but he didn't do so.

At 50 for 4, it was De Grandhomme, who took charge as he attacked Yuzvendra Chahal (0/37 in 4 overs), hitting him for a couple of sixes.

When he was just about threatening to take the game away, De Grandhomme smacked one straight to covers in skipper Rohit's hands.

India bowled 35 dot balls, which could well have been decisive in the final context of the match.

Young Khaleel Ahmed (2/27) polished off two wickets in the end. He and Bhuvneshwar also bowled 18 dot balls between them.


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Rahane's 81 only saving grace in India 203 for 6 on day 1
It's better to get hit early and hard: Kohli on bouncers
Messi 'made me better player', says Ronaldo
Kumble should be chairman of selectors but BCCI needs to raise pay: Sehwag
Nagal moves to second round of US Open Qualifying event
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Mary Kom recuses herself from Saturday's sports award meeting
Ravi Shastri reappointed head coach of Indian team till 2021
Archer strikes as Australia slump to 80-4 in second Ashes Test
India beat England to win inaugural T20 Physical Disability World Series
Gayle walks off in style after sizzling knock, may have played his last
Six candidates including Shastri shortlisted for India''s head coach post
KERALA NEWS
Malayalam actor, film crew stranded in Himachal village
 Thiruvananthapuram: A 30-member film crew from Kerala, including award-winning actress Manju Warrier  
Ex-Deputy Commandant of AR camp held in connection with constable's death
"More flights to Kerala from Gulf countries during Onam"
Flood in Kerala: CM conducts aerial survey
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Despite tensions, Pak stands ready to open Kartarpur Corridor: Qureshi
 Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday said that despite tensions with India, it stands ready to open the Kar
Two Govt hospitals in Pak deny specialised ambulance facility to Sharif
UN, France raise concern over Amazon wildfires 'crisis'
US seeking balancing act in South Asia over Kashmir: Report
NATIONAL NEWS
INX Media: SC grants interim protection to Chidambaram in ED case; no relief in CBI matter
 New Delhi: Congress leader and former union finance minister P Chidambaram was on Friday granted pro
Always said demonising Modi wrong: Singhvi
Alert in Tamil Nadu after intel of Lashkar terrorists' intrusion
FATF Asia-Pacific Group puts Pakistan in terror 'blacklist': Officials
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