Ravindra Jadeja played a fighting knock of 55 runs off 73 balls but his efforts went in vain as India lost the second ODI against New Zealand by 22 runs at the Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. Batting first, New Zealand rode on Martin Guptill’s 79 off 79 balls and Ross Taylor’s unbeaten 73 to post a challenging total of 273 runs on the board. In reply, India was bundled out for 251 and lost the game despite coming close.
India lost opener Mayank Agarwal early in the chase after he was dismissed on 3 off 5 balls. Prithvi Shaw was quick to follow him back to the hut as he was clean bowled by debutant Kyle Jamieson on 24 off 19 balls. Captain Virat Kohli was also dismissed cheaply on 15 as the top-order crumbled. Shreyas Iyer then steadied the ship for India with a sublime 52 off 57 balls before Jadeja and Navdeep Saini staged a fightback.
Jadeja came out to bat at number seven and played a great knock of 55 runs. He combined with Saini (45) to add 76 runs for the eighth wicket before the pacer’s resistance was brought to an end by Jamieson in the 45th over. Jadeja continued to pile on runs from one end before being eventually getting caught by Collin de Grandhomme off Jimmy Neesham’s bowling in the 49th over.
While he couldn’t finish the chase for India, Jadeja had some positive to take from his knock as he broke former Indian captains MS Dhoni and Kapil Dev’s record with his 55-run-knock. Jadeja scored his seventh half-century batting at number seven for India which is the most by any Indian batsmen at that position. He surpassed Dhoni and Dev who had six fifties each to their names at number seven.
Saini’s sensational knock of 45 runs off 49 balls came as a revelation to many as the pacer showed he can flex his muscles with the willow as well. Saini and Jadeja almost pulled off the chase for India but the New Zealand pacers made a strong comeback towards the end to keep the result in their favor. New Zealand has now taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series and will be aiming for a whitewash in the 3rd ODI on Tuesday.