That brings an end to our coverage for this game. Do join us for more cricketing action all around the globe. For now, this is Akshay Bhide, signing off, on behalf of my co-commentator Deepak Prakash and scorer Paras Yadav. Bye Bye. Good Night.
Suryakumar Yadav (Player of the Match):"You can call it a different version of SKY tonight. Adapting to the conditions was key there. After the departure of Washi, it was important for me to stay till the end. (On Sundar's wicket) It was my fault. I didn't see where the ball went. It was a challenging wicket and adapting was the key. We needed one hit in the last over. We tried to stay calm. Whenever I missed the ball, he came up to me and asked to me stay calm and vice versa. With one required, he asked me to finish the game and that gave me confidence."
Player of the Match: Suryakumar Yadav.
Hardik Pandya (India Captain): "Not really, I always believed that we'll be able to finish the game, but it went quite late. I went inside to check on the boys and make sure they were quiet. You shouldn't be alarmed; the goal was to rotate the strike rather than to apply pressure. We decided to keep it simple rather than take any chances. However, it was a shocking wicket, let's face it. I'm all for slow pitches, but these two are not suitable for 20-over cricket. They must make sure to maintain it ready and prepare it. Apart from that, I am content. Even 120 would have been a winning total given how the game ended up. We continued to take wickets, but the bowlers stuck to their strategies.
Washi's bowling was a blatant indication that the surface would favour spinners. They eventually had to take risks and play a lot of dot balls, which is when we grabbed a few wickets. Dew had no impact since, as you can see, they had greater ball-spinning ability than we had. Deliveries from the quick bowler were also flying. It didn't turn slowly at all. To determine the optimum position for us to play from, we were only playing the ball."
Powerplayer of the match: Yuzvendra Chahal.
Game changer of the match: Hardik Pandya.
Trusted player of the match: Arshdeep Singh.
Mitchell Santner (New Zealand Captain): "It was a great game of cricket. To get so close to the game was a great effort from our bowlers. The calmness of Surya and Hardik did the job for India. I was wondering if Lockie could bowl off-spin. It's a tricky one. With the bounce out there, it looked challenging and we were not sure what a good score was. I think 120 was a good score on that surface."
Time for the post-match presentation.
Washington Sundar:"Everybody watching at home and in the stands was on edge, just like we were, praying that India would cross the finish line. (Thrillers with low ratings) It's extremely thrilling. Only two to three of every ten games are as good as this. It's amazing that we continued to win this game since it all comes down to skill. (Runout) In no way. It was crucial that SKY stick around to the conclusion. Such things do occur in the game, so yes."
Not a single six was hit in tonight's game.
10:29 PM IST: That’s it. What a contest we just witnessed in Lucknow. The spinners dominated yet another clash in this series and we saw a low-scoring thriller tonight. The game went down to the wire and India held their nerves to beat New Zealand by six wickets to keep the series alive. We head to Ahmedabad now for the decider on Wednesday.
Chasing 100 was going to be a tricky task on this spin-friendly track. Shubman Gill was looking good at the top of the order but was dismissed by Michael Bracewell on 11 in the fourth over. Rahul Tripathi joined Ishan Kishan and both led the recovery work for the hosts. Run scoring wasn’t easy and Kishan’s struggles came to an end when he was run out on 19 off 32 balls.
India were 49/2 after 10 overs and lost Tripathi in the next over on 13. Washington Sundar was promoted up the order. He along with Suryakumar Yadav put 20 between them before a terrible mix-up resulted in Sundar’s downfall. The game went down to the wire and with six required from the last over, Surya (26*) and Hardik Pandya (15*) held their nerves to take their side across the line with two balls to spare. The New Zealand bowlers bowled well and tried hard but failed to defend the modest total.
Earlier, New Zealand decided to bat first. They had a steady start to their innings and scored 33 in the powerplay but lost both their openers. Mark Chapman tried to steady the ship but lacked support from the other end as the Indian spinners bowled beautifully in the middle phase. The Kiwi batters failed to get going as they were reeling at 60/5 in the 13th over.
Michael Bracewell along with Mithell Santner tried to build the partnership but the former fell in the 17th over while trying to up the ante. Santner remained unbeaten on 19 as New Zealand finished their innings on 99/8. The Indian bowlers were fantastic and never allowed the New Zealand batters to get away. Each of the bowlers, barring Shivam Mavi picked up at least a wicket as they completed a brilliant display with the ball. Stay tuned for the post-match presentation.
Scored 100 in 19.5 overs
19.5 B Tickner to Yadav
4 FOUR!!! Here we go, SKY finishes it in the style!!! Length ball outside the off. SKY stays deep inside the crease and thumps it over the mid-off as the ball flies over the mid-off and races away for a boundary. India won by 6 wickets but it was never easy to chase down this total. A great game for cricket enthusiasts. India levels the series 1-1.
A direct hit and Pandya was gone. He had given up and the ball bounces over the stumps. 3 required from 2 balls. Santner having a chat with his bowler. Are we in for a super over?
19.4 B Tickner to H Pandya
1 Length ball outside the off. Pandya swings and gets the lower half of the bat as the ball rolls down to wide long-on for a single. A good throw and skipper was nowhere in the frame.
That was hit hard and Tickner drops it in his followthrough. He got left hand to it but fails to hold onto it. Single taken and 4required from 3 balls now.
19.3 B Tickner to Yadav
1 Oh, dropped!!! Length ball, a tad outside the off. SKY swings hard at it gets the cue end of the bat as the ball flies back to the bowler who gets his hand on it but fails to hold it.
A dot ball and 5 required from 4 now. Point, covers, mid on and mid off are inside the circle.