India vs New Zealand: Colin Munro ton takes the series to a decider

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New Zealand ride on opener Munro’s blistering hundred to take the T20 series to a 3rd game decider.

Colin Munro was at his sublime best, as the southpaw smashed a scintillating century in the 2nd T20I against India to level the three-match series 1-1. It was a power hitting at its very best, as the opening duo of Munro and Guptill shared a huge stand of 105 runs. The Indian bowling attack was put to the sword with debutant Mohammed Siraj conceding as many as 53 runs in his four overs.

Siraj was constantly taken to the cleaners, while the treatment meted out to the spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel, was no less severe. Only Jasprit Bumrah (0/23) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/29) managed to steer clear of the carnage Munro was unleashing. Their combined eight overs gave New Zealand only 52 runs and played its part in restricting them to 196 when at one stage 210+ looked a strong possibility.

At the other side of the ring stood Virat Kohli, India’s emphatic answer and solution to most tricky run chases in the past few years. He had a raging Trent Boult to contend with, a bowler who had already sent back Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan for single digit scores. He had the wily Mitchell Santner to counter, and the big-spinning Ish Sodhi to figure out. All this with the pressure of early wickets, big runs and a billion hopes boring down on him.

And Kohli, as he does, gave hope to India’s frailing chase. His rubbery wrists came into work time and again, flicking deliveries that were in his arc to the boundary. His feet worked overtime, chipping down the wicket to help its owner hit over the top, and running the runs when the ball wouldn’t reach the boundary. He even tried bringing out the reverse-sweep as it increasingly started to look like the chase had his rubber stamp over it.

But unlike Munro, Kohli didn’t have the luck to fall back on. He, unlike, Munro had no partners who would help absorb some pressure and let him do the hitting. And unlike India, New Zealand needed only one chance to snuff his innings out, and they ensured they left no stone unturned, with the keeper Glenn Phillips taking the edge and also stumping Kohli out just in case.

He was eventually out caught behind for 65 off 42, scoring at more than 150 per 100 balls, and took with him any chance India had of pulling off a big chase. The rest was a mere formality for New Zealand. MS Dhoni fought with 49 off 37 balls, but India were never in the game once Kohli was dismissed.

Brief scores: New Zealand 196/2 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 109*, Martin Guptill 45) beat India 156/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 65, MS Dhoni 49; Trent Boult 4-34) by 40 runs.

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