New Zealand's players celebrate after the dismissal of India's Rishabh Pant (not pictured) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between India and New Zealand at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 31, 2021. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

India’s horrible run in the T20 World Cup continued on Sunday when New Zealand inflicted a crushing eight-wicket defeat on the pre-tournament favourite side and put it on the brink of elimination.

India’s much-trumpeted batsmen flopped for the second time after a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan, reaching only 110 for the loss of seven wickets after New Zealand chose to bowl.

Daryl Mitchell (49) and captain Kane Williamson (33 not out) eased New Zealand to 111-2 in 14.3 overs in a lopsided Group 2 game.

Mitchell missed out on a deserved half-century when he was caught at long-on against Jasprit Bumrah’s off-cutter. Mitchell hit four boundaries and three sixes. Bumrah finished with 2-19.

The heavy defeat to archrival Pakistan last week at the same venue appeared to still be playing on the minds of India’s batsmen as wickets tumbled against both the spin and speed of the Black Caps.

“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball,” said Kohli at the post-match Q&A session on Sunday.

“We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field. When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations — not just from fans, but players as well.

“So, there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years.”

Williamson hailed his team as they collected their first win. “A fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side,” he said.

“We were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out really set the platform.”

LIGHTNING BOULT RIPS BATTING: Earlier, pace bowler Trent Boult took three wickets in an inspired New Zealand attack as India limped to 110 for seven.

Boult returned figures of 3-20 and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi took two wickets, including Virat Kohli’s key scalp, to deliver a huge blow to India’s hopes in the Super 12 clash in Dubai.

Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 26 and Hardik Pandya made 23 to take the score past 100 as both teams look for their first win.

Boult got Ishan Kishan out for four and nearly had Rohit Sharma on the next ball but Adam Milne dropped an easy catch at fine leg.

Milne, who replaced Tim Seifert as the only change in the New Zealand team from their opening loss to Pakistan, then gave away 15 runs from his first over with Sharma hitting the fast bowler for a four and a six.

But the New Zealand pace bowlers kept coming at the Indian batsmen as Tim Southee got KL Rahul walking back for 18 with another pull shot that found the fielder.

Sharma fell to Sodhi for 14, this time giving away a catch to long-on where Martin Guptill made no mistake.

Sodhi dismissed Kohli for nine after the captain mistimed a shot to be caught at long-on and walked back to stunned silence at a stadium packed with Indian fans.

Pandya and Jadeja put up some resistance with a partnership of 24 that was broken by Boult who struck twice in his final over.

Mohammed Shami, the only Muslim player in the India team, walked into loud cheers after being mercilessly trolled following the 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan.

Jadeja hit two fours and one six in his 19-ball stay.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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