Lucknow: Indian captain Hardik Pandya blamed the pitch at the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium in Ekna, where the second match of the Twenty20 cricket series between India and New Zealand was played.
Pandya described the pitch as a “shocker” and criticized the curators for not preparing the pitch properly. A difficult spin pitch was prepared for batting. Hardik responded that the pitch was not for Twenty20 in the first match as well. Hardik said that although runs flowed on the pitch in Ranchi, that too was not suitable for Twenty20.
After 100 runs in Lucknow, India won with one ball to spare. The three-match Twenty20 series was tied at 1-1. The third and final match will be played on Wednesday. The Ekna Stadium also saw a rare record in Twenty20. A record was set for the first Twenty20 match between countries with full membership of the International Cricket Council that did not produce a single six. Both teams batted 39.5 (239 balls) overs but not a single ball reached the gallery without touching the ground. Not a single six was hit in the Twenty20 between Bangladesh and New Zealand at Mirpur in 2021. Both teams played 238 balls that day. Star Suryakumar Yadav scored 26 runs in 31 balls. He only came out once he crossed the border.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, New Zealand scored 99 runs for eight in 20 overs. India, who came expecting an easy win, later saw a limp. We had to wait until the fifth ball the last time to win. The New Zealand batsmen hit only six fours. Apart from opener Finn Allen, who took two fours in the power over, nobody crossed the boundary more than once. Indian batsmen hit a total of eight fours. Apart from openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, none of them could hit more than one four. The teams batting first have won the last five Twenty20s at Ekna. New Zealand catcher Mitchell Santner won the toss and did not hesitate to bat first. New Zealand’s lowest scoring batsmen returned in a Twenty20 match against India. This ICC Twenty20 also holds the record for the second highest number of overs bowled by spinners in a match between member nations. 17 overs were bowled by the New Zealand spinners. The four spinners who bowled together were in India’s line after 13 overs. The spinners bowled 30 overs on both sides. Suryakumar Yadav was the star of the match.