Bhuvneshwar Kumar shines with the ball as India level the series at Pune
Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a strong show with the ball in hand to see India level the three-match one-day series 1-1. India batted sensibly in the chase as Dinesh Karthik and Shikhar Dhawan scored crucial half centuries to see the side win the game by six wickets in the second game played at Pune. Hosts bowling lineup did put in a great performance to restrict New Zealand to a modest total of 231 runs from 50 overs.
In the chase, opener Rohit Sharma was very watchful against Trent Boult while Shikhar Dhawan played attacking shots from the outset. Sharma stay at the crease was short as he was dismissed by Tim Southee in the fourth over of the innings. Dhawan played his natural game and added 57 runs with Virat Kohli as India started to dominate the proceedings. The partnership was effective as Dhawan and Kohli rotated the strike with ease and did not allow New Zealand bowlers to produce dot balls.
Kohli departed in an ungainly fashion as he edged an innocuous delivery from medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme behind the stumps to keeper Tom Latham. Dinesh Karthik came to the crease with the game still in the balance. The middle-order has been a worry for India for quite a while now, but Karthik played sensibly along with Dhawan to keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely.
Karthik produced unbeaten 64 runs and added useful partnerships with Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni to see India complete a comfortable victory with four overs to spare.
Earlier in the day, the game started with a lot of controversy over the curator and its alleged links to bookies after a sting operation. New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first as Martin Guptill and Colin Munro started the proceedings in a brisk manner. Bhuvneshwar provided early breakthrough for India as he dismissed both the openers to put India in a strong position in the game.
Kane Williamson suffered from yet another failure as he trapped leg before by fast bowler Jaspreet Bumrah to see New Zealand reeling at 27 for 3 after 7 overs. Ross Taylor and Tom Latham tried their best to rebuild the innings but it was not to be their day as New Zealand kept losing wickets at critical moments.
Taylor was dismissed by Hardik Pandya for 21 runs while Latham was bowled by left-arm spinner Axar Patel as tried to sweep to a delivery that kept a touch low. New Zealand was in all sorts of trouble at 118 for 5 after 29.1 overs. Colin de Grandhomme and Henry Nicholls played well as they started to rebuild the innings. The duo both scored useful runs to see New Zealand push their score beyond 220-run mark. Left-hander Henry Nicholls scored 42 runs off 63 balls for New Zealand. Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee also added vital runs at the end of the innings to see New Zealand post 230 runs from their 50 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was named man of the match for his splendid bowling performance for India in the game. Both the teams will face each other in the series decider at Kanpur on Sunday.