India vs New Zealand 2nd ODI abandoned due to rain at Hamilton

Mitchell Santner (left) and Shubman Gill share a joke as they leave the field upon rain intervention on Sunday

The Indian cricket team lost the opportunity of levelling terms with New Zealand in the ongoing ODI series as the second match at Hamilton on Sunday was washed out due to incessant rains. India had earlier lost the first ODI by a huge margin of 7 wickets and needed to win the second ODI in order to keep the series alive.

The rains did not allow the two teams to have a say in the proceedings for the major part of the day on Sunday, as the contest was first reduced to 29-overs per side and then declared a washed out game 12.5 overs into the first innings, with India reaching a formidable 89/1. 

The Indian right-handed opening batsman Shubman Gill and run-machine  Suryakumar Yadav looked ominous for the New Zealand bowlers before rains washed away all hopes for an exciting contest between these two powerhouses. The No 1 ranked T20I batsman Suryakumar Yadav had found his rhythm in the middle with the bat, reaching 34 not out off just 25 balls with the help of 2 fours and 3 sixes. 

On the other hand, Shubman Gill was looking solid at 45 not out from 42 balls with 4 fours and 1 six when rains intervened, forcing the players off the field and the umpires to eventually call off the game with no sign of the conditions improving and the rains relenting. 

The washed out game robbed off India a chance to have a crack at drawing the series with New Zealand, who had won the first ODI at Auckland in a commanding manner. After India huffed and puffed to make a formidable 306/7 in their first innings, it was a strong 221-run partnership between the left-handed Tom Latham and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who put their team on the right side of the result. 

For India, Shikhar Dhawan scored 72 from 77 balls with 14 fours, Shubman Gill made 50 from 65 balls with 3 sixes and 1 four while Sheyas Iyer scored a stunning 80 from 76 balls with 4 sixes and 4 fours. Towards the end of the innings, Sanju Samson (36) and Washington Sundar (37) did well to take India past the 300-run mark, but the total was just not enough to intimidate New Zealand. 

Kane Williamson scored 94 not out from 98 balls and was certainly unfortunate to have missed out on scoring a century, but all the limelight and attention was garnered, rightly so, by the diminutive left-handed Tom Latham.

The New Zealand batsman who came out as low as at No 5, scored 145 not out from only 104 balls to score his second century against India in ODI cricket and was also a part of the match-winning partnership with Kane Williamson. Tom Latham and the New Zealand captain added 221 runs for the fourth wicket, which is now a record for the Kiwis against India in the 50-over format. 

While the washout in the second ODI on Sunday takes away the chance to level the series for India, they will be under pressure to win the third and final ODI — also their last assignment on the tour — to return home having not lost any series to the Kiwis.