crush

The Indian team and New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between India and New Zealand at Dubai International Stadium in Dubai on Oct. 31. (ANI photo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — New Zealand inflicted a crushing eight-wicket defeat on India at the cricket T20 World Cup on Oct. 31 which put the tournament favorite on the brink of elimination.

India’s much-trumpeted batters flopped for the second time — after a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan — reaching only 110-7 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. Williamson scored the winning single.

Mitchell missed out on a deserved half century when he was caught at long on against Jasprit Bumrah’s off-cutter but not before hitting four boundaries and three sixes. Bumrah finished with 2-19 in another disappointing night for India.

“A fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side,” Williamson said. “The balance of our attack has two spinners in it. I think the collective unit was impressive, the way they kept passing the baton.”

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

New Zealand recovered well from its loss to Pakistan in the first game.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi celebrated his 29th birthday by bowling an impressive spell of 2-17 in the middle overs and picked up the key wickets of Rohit Sharma (14) and Virat Kohli (9) as both tried to break New Zealand’s grip but holed out in the deep.

Trent Boult, who picked up Ishan Kishan’s wicket in his second over, bowled superbly with the old ball too and claimed two more wickets to finish with 3-20.

Rohit could have been out for a first ball golden duck for the second successive game, but Adam Milne dropped a sitter at deep fine leg. But once Sodhi had both Rohit and Kohli dismissed, India’s power-hitters couldn’t accelerate in the latter half of the innings.

Rishabh Pant (12) failed to hit a boundary off the 19 balls he faced before he dragged Milne back onto his stumps and Hardik Pandya (23) hit just one four. Ravindra Jadeja top-scored with 26 not out off 19 balls — including two fours and a six — which ensured India crossed the 100-run mark in the end.

“Quite bizarre,” said Kohli after another below-par performance in front of disappointed Indian fans. “I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball … 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.”

New Zealand now has two points from two games and has matches against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia.

India also has its remaining games against the same opponents.

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