India took a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand with a seven-wicket win in the second match at the Eden Park here on Sunday.
Boasting a formidable batting line-up, chasing 133 proved to be tricky for the visitor on a pitch that was slightly on the slower side. However, K.L. Rahul (57 not out 50 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (44 off 33 balls) added 86 runs for the third wicket as India wrapped up the match with 15 balls to spare.
Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat as Ravindra Jadeja (2-18), Jasprit Bumrah (1-21) and Mohammed Shami (0-22) stifled the home team, restricting it to 132 for five.
Tim Southee took 2-20 as India lost opener Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli early in the chase. Sharma (8) was out caught at slip in the first over off Southee.
Even so, Rahul and Kohli added 31 runs for the second wicket. The latter then was caught behind off Southee in the sixth over with Tim Seifert taking a brilliant diving catch.
However, the pair of Rahul and Iyer settled down quickly taking minimal risks and dispatching any loose ball that came their way. Rahul brought up his 11th T20I half-century off 43 balls.
India crossed 100 in the 15th over after which Iyer cut loose to approach the finish line. He fell just prior, holing out to Tim Southee at long-on off Ish Sodhi (1-33). Shivam Dube got India over the finish line with a six over midwicket.
While New Zealand bowlers failed to corner the batsmen, their Indian counterparts made good use of the slower pitch. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro (26) provided a measured start, putting on 48 runs for the first wicket.
Shardul Thakur got rid of Guptill at end of Power Play after which India put the brakes on the New Zealand middle order.
Yuzvendra Chahal (0-33) and Shivam Dube (1-16) combined well in the middle overs, while Ravindra Jadeja got the key wicket of Kane Williamson and Colin de Grandhomme to ensure New Zealand never got going. India also raised its fielding effort barring a bizarre drop from Virat Kohli late in the innings.
Tim Seifert showed some urgency at the end hitting a four and two sixes as the Kiwis finished at 132/5 in 20 overs.