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India struggle with the bat to set New Zealand 111 to win

31/10/2021 at 9:28 PM

Dubai, Oct 31: ndia suffered a disappointing showing with the bat in Dubai, limping to 110/7 off their 20 overs, after New Zealand had won the toss and opted to bowl first in the Group 2 Super 12 clash in Dubai.

But even captain Kane Williamson wouldn’t have expected his attack to tie India in knots to the extent that they did, with Ravindra Jadeja top-scoring with 26 at the death in a disappointing showing from the pre-tournament favourites.

All five New Zealand bowlers excelled, but it was the spin pair of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi who kept things particularly tight, going for just 32 runs off their combined eight overs, with Sodhi taking the crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

India had made a change at the top of the order from their opening loss to Pakistan, bringing in Ishan Kishan for Suryakumar Yadav and dropping the rest of the batting line-up down one. But Kishan made little impact, falling to Trent Boult for just four off eight balls.

The scoring rate was slow, despite the occasional moment of brilliance, as KL Rahul and Sharma tried to rebuild.

Hardik Pandya’s four through backward point off the last delivery of the 17th over was India’s first boundary in 71 balls. But it was the big-hitting all-rounder’s only boundary of the day, with Trent Boult having him caught in the deep for 23 off 24.

But Jadeja came in and at least helped India to bring up the ton, hitting 26 of 19 balls, one of only two batters along with Rahul to score at more than a run-a-ball.

There were just two sixes and ten boundaries in total in India’s innings, leaving them needing a superb showing from the bowlers to avoid a second straight World Cup loss.

Defeat for either side would leave their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals hanging by a thread, with both India and New Zealand having already lost to Group 2 leaders Pakistan.

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