Mahipal Lomror’s ‘five-for’ ensure India win their second game: Claiming 5 wickets in his spell of 7.3 overs, giving away 47 runs, the left-arm spinner, 16-year old Mahipal Lomror, ensured that India win their second game against New Zealand and safely traverse into knockout round, with two wins from as many encounters.
Earlier, winning the toss, New Zealand, led by Josh Finnie, put India into bat.
Losing the skipper, Ishan Kishan (4) in the fifth over with 13 runs in the board and losing Ricky Bhui (1) another 6 runs later, the wicket-keeper-opener, Rishabh Pant and the hero of the first game, Sarfraz Khan, came together and put up a partnership of 89 runs in 20.4 overs for the third wicket.
Pant departed in the 27th over at the team score of 108/3 with his personal contribution of 57 runs off 83 deliveries with 7 fours and 2 sixes. His half century came in 73 deliveries with 7 fours and a six.
Armaan Jaffer joined Khan in the middle and the duo went on to add 48 runs in 7.2 overs for the fourth wicket. Following his 70-ball 74 runs scored against Ireland in the previous game, Sarfraz Khan notched up another 74 runs off 80 deliveries with 9 hits to the fence. His half-century came in 60 deliveries with 7 fours. He moved from 48 to 52 with a boundary.
The sixth-wicket partnership between Jaffer and Lomror realised a good 55 runs in 8.4 overs. Jaffer, who failed to make an impression in the first game, made amends and scored 46 runs off 49 deliveries with 2 fours while Lomror, batting down the order, contributed 45 runs off 42 deliveries with 3 fours and a six.
Team India finished their innings with 258 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 50 overs.
New Zealand medium pacers Zak Gibson (10-0-50-3), Nathan Smith (10-1-39-2) and the left-arm spinner, Rachin Ravindra (6-0-41-2) were the main wicket-takers but could not prevent the Indian batsmen from putting up a big score.
The target of 259 runs really put pressure on the Kiwi batsmen as they faltered big time chasing the same.
By the 11th over they had lost four top order batsmen with just 16 runs on the board and found the going very tough. The fifth-wicket partnership of 49 runs in 7.2 overs between Finn Allen (29) and Christian Leopard (40) was the high point of the Kiwi innings.
A rearguard action of a ninth-wicket partnership between Aniket Parikh (26) and the wicket-keeper, Talor Scott (29) realised 45 runs in 6.2 overs but could not prevent a total collapse.
If the Indian batsmen scored at will and set up a stiff target, the bowlers did well to keep the Kiwi batsmen under pressure and never let them off the hook.
Left-arm spinner Lomrur (7.3-1-47-5) and the right–arm medium pacer, Avesh Khan (10-2-32-4) literally ran through the opposition batting line up and restricted them to a score of 138 runs in 31.3 overs.
Team India won the game by a huge margin of 120 runs and moved into the knock-out stage.
Although Lomrur contributed both, with the bat (45 runs off 42 deliveries) and with the ball (5/47), the Player of the Match was awarded to Avesh Khan for his four-wicket haul.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Avesh Khan said, “It was a really good wicket. A bit of seam, and we just had to bowl in the right areas. The plan was to bring the batsmen forward. We are looking good in all areas.”