T20 WC: Boult, Sodhi set up New Zealand's 8-wicket rout of India

T20 WC: Boult, Sodhi set up New Zealand's 8-wicket rout of India
New Zealand's Ish Sodhi, centert, celebrates the wicket of India's captain Virat Kohli during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between New Zealand and India in Dubai, UAE, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.(PHOTO:IANS)

Dubai, Oct 31 (IANS) Trent Boult (3/20) and Ish Sodhi (2/17) led a clinical show with the ball to set up New Zealand's eight-wicket thrashing of India in an important Group 2 match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday.

After restricting India to a paltry 110/7 in 20 overs, New Zealand made light work of the chase, reaching home with 33 balls to spare as India's bowlers struggled to make an impact. From winning the toss and opting to bowl first, every move New Zealand made turned into gold, barring some dropped catches. The abject loss has also made Ind'a's road to the semi-finals tougher.

Martin Guptill began New Zealand's chase of 111 by hitting Varun Chakravarthy for back-to-back boundaries in the third over. Guptill took a boundary off Jasprit Bumrah in the next over. But on the next ball, Guptill miscued a loft to mid-on, where Shardul Thakur grabbed it on the second attempt. Daryl Mitchell welcomed Ravindra Jadeja in the final over of Power-play with a six over long-on followed by back-to-back fours.

After the Power-play, Mitchell slammed Mohammed Shami for a six over deep square leg. He then took 14 runs off Thakur in the tenth over, smoking a six over cow corner followed by back-to-back fours. Mitchell stitched a partnership of 72 off 54 balls with Kane Williamson to keep New Zealand steady in the chase.

Mitchell fell a run short of his maiden T20I half-century in the 13th over, holing out to long-on off Bumrah. Williamson hung around to hit Hardik Pandya for two fours in the 14th over before scoring the winning single to complete their first win of the ongoing tournament.

Earlier, New Zealand restricted India to their second-lowest total e'er in Men's T20 World Cups, on the back of impressive bowling from their bowlers, mainly Boult and Sodhi, who combined with spin twin Mitchell Santner to concede just 32 runs off eight overs of spin.

A rejigged batting order was of no help for India as they lost both openers inside Power-play. Boult had Ishan Kishan hitting straight to deep square leg in third over. Rohit Sharma, coming at three, was dropped by Adam Milne at deep fine leg on his very first ball.

Milne's first over cost 15 runs as KL Rahul crunched a boundary followed by Sharma cutting through point followed by flicking off his wrists over deep square leg. Rahul began the final over of Power-play with an inner edge past stumps for a boundary. Five balls later, Southee bounced back as Rahul pulled straight to deep square-leg.

Post power-play, New Zealand stemmed the run-flow by not conceding any boundaries in the middle overs. Sharma mistimed his pull to long-on off Ish Sodhi in the eighth over. After drinks break, Sodhi struck immediately as Virat Kohli skied a slog-sweep to long-on. New Zealand's tight grip continued as Adam Milne knocked over Rishabh Pant's stumps in the 15th over.

Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja struck a boundary each off Boult and Milne. Boult returned to take out Pandya and Shardul Thakur in the first four balls of his final over. Jadeja took a four off Boult before hitting Southee for a six in the final over to give his team a few more runs to defend, not adequate to avoid being outplayed.

Brief scores: India 110/7 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 26 not out, Hardik Pandya 23, Trent Boult 3/20, Ish Sodhi 2/17) lost to New Zealand 111/2 in 14.3 overs (Daryl Mitchell 49, Kane Williamson 33 not out, Jasprit Bumrah 2/19) by eight wickets