If India fallen into New Zealand's spin trap in the first T20I, they would have responded in Lucknow. Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, and Deepak Hooda all left New Zealand at 48/4 at the end of the first 10 overs. New Zealand were eventually restricted to 99/8 but the New Zealanders then ensured that there was no easy chase for India. They punished the hosts for every little mistake as they ran between the wickets and only Suryakumar Yadav's five-ball knock in the 20th over gave India victory.
India had to score six runs off the final over to win the match after setting a modest target of 100. which resulted in a three off a two ball. Suryakumar then scored his only boundary of the run chase by slapping the penultimate ball over mid-off fielder, bringing the hosts home with one ball remaining.
Suryakumar and Hardik's uncharacteristic knock as they put together a 31-run stand for the 6 Wickets to win the game was exceptional. In their innings, neither player managed to hit more than four.
When the Indian bowlers held them to a meager 99 for 8 in 20 overs, their lowest ever total against the hosts in T20Is, it appeared that the visitors were out of the game. But like the Indian spinners in the first innings, the Kiwi spinners kept the game close until the last over with some tight bowling.
The run out of Washington Sundar, who gave up his wicket to guarantee Surya's stay in the middle, showed how much pressure the Indian was under. India could afford to stumble in the chase because the asking rate was never a problem.
A four from 45 balls off Hardik's bat in the 19th over brought plenty of pressure before the skipper finished the job together with Surya hitting the winning four.
When dangerous Glenn Phillips missed a straight ball from the dangerous Deepak Hooda in his attempt to reverse the part-time off-spinner, New Zealand was quickly reduced to 35 for three in the seventh over.
Although New Zealand bats deep, none of their batters were able to put forth any effort on the difficult pitch. Arshdeep Singh, a pacer who has a recent history of overusing no-ball bowling, and Shivam Mavi were only used in the final few overs.
Arsdeep did well to take wickets in his two difficult overs while only giving up eight runs. One for 25 in four overs was Hardik's final performance.
On Wednesday, Ahmedabad will host the 3rd T20I.