Delhi Capitals piled on the pain for Punjab Kings and KL Rahul by racing to a seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League and going top of the table.

It was revealed earlier on Sunday that Kings captain and star batsman Rahul faces surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, and he was in hospital while this match played out at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

In his absence, stand-in skipper Mayank Agarwal made a dominant 99 not out in a total of 166-6, helming the Kings innings and cutting loose when he saw fit in a terrific 58-ball knock that contained four sixes and eight fours.

Shikhar Dhawan produced the key innings for the Capitals in response, making an unbeaten 69 and finding the sort of support that Agarwal lacked, helping Delhi to 167-3, winning with 14 balls to spare.

Agarwal had required five from the final ball of the Kings innings to post what would have been just the second IPL century of his career, but he could only crunch a four down the ground rather than clear the ropes.

Kagiso Rabada had earlier taken two wickets in his first two overs, the second coming when he bowled Kings veteran Chris Gayle with a full toss immediately after being cracked for six by the West Indies batsman.

That was the first of three sixes off Rabada's bowling, but the South African paceman also removed Prabhsimran Singh and Chris Jordan while taking 3-36 in his four-over allocation.

Dawid Malan made 26 but it was ostensibly a one-man show as Agarwal contended with a revolving cast of batting partners.

Delhi had more about them, with Prithvi Shaw making 39 in a 63-run first-wicket stand alongside Dhawan, before Steve Smith added 25.

Shimron Hetmyer launched Riley Meredith for two consecutive sixes followed by a cover drive for four in the 18th over, leaving Delhi just two short of their victory target.

Neither Hetmyer nor Dhawan had the privilege of finishing the job, however, with a pair of wides from Meredith carrying the Capitals over the line.


Agarwal deserved better

Not only did he take over as captain, Agarwal also led by proud example, just as Rahul as so often done. His innings was the standout performance of this match, but where he rose to the occasion, others in the Kings ranks wilted. Gayle, with 13, was the team's third highest scorer, and it is almost impossible to win matches that way.

Getting all Het up

Hetmyer's late care-free cameo of 16 from four deliveries would likely not have happened without his team-mates laying solid foundations. They did so in the face of largely unthreatening bowling from Punjab, who sit sixth with three wins from eight games, amid doubts over whether their leader will be back in action this season.

India and Punjab Kings batsman KL Rahul has been diagnosed with acute appendicitis which requires him to undergo surgery.

The 29-year-old opener was admitted to hospital on Saturday after suffering from discomfort in his abdomen.

No timeframe has been placed on his recovery but he will be absent from Punjab Kings' Indian Premier League fixture against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

A statement from Punjab Kings said: "KL Rahul complained of severe abdomen pain and, after not responding to medication, he was taken for further tests which revealed that he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.

"It will be resolved surgically and for safety measures he has been transferred to the hospital."

Rahul is the top runscorer in the 2021 IPL with 331 runs in seven matches at an average of 66.20 and a strike rate of 136.21.

He has the best all-time batting average in IPL history with 2,978 runs in 88 matches at 46.53 and a strike rate of 135.85.

The right-hand batsman has played 36 Tests, 38 ODIs and 49 T20 internationals for India.

 

KL Rahul scored another magnificent half-century and Harpreet Brar tormented Royal Challengers Bangalore in a 34-run Indian Premier League win for Punjab Kings.

Captain Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan as the leading run-scorer in the tournament with a scintillating 91 off 57 balls, getting Kings up to 179-5 after Virat Kohli put them in.

Chris Gayle also smashed a rapid 46 from 24 balls before Rahul and Harpreet provided a late flurry at Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.

RCB fell well short in reply with the Kings attack giving nothing away, Kohli top scoring with 35 as they could only muster 145-8 in Ahmedabad.

They never got going in the run chase and lost six wickets for 34 runs, with spinner Harpreet sparking the collapse by bowling Kohli before cleaning up Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck off the next ball in a double-wicket maiden.

Harpreet claimed outstanding figures of 3-19, while fellow tweaker Ravi Bishnoi finished with a brilliant 2-17 in a resounding victory.

Harshal Patel (31) and Kyle Jamieson (16 not out) combined for an eighth-wicket stand of 48, but the damage had been done as Kings moved up to fifth, consigning third-placed RCB to only a second defeat.

 

RCB have no answer to Rahul

Punjab skipper Rahul must wish he could play against RCB more often, as they have not managed to get him out since 2019.

The India batsman was imperious once again, bringing up his fourth half-century of the tournament off 35 balls after Gayle had taken 20 off a Jamieson over and struck Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes in the next before gloving a Daniel Sams delivery behind.

Harshal, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, went for 53 runs off his four wicket-less overs - the last of the innings costing 22 as Rahul and Harpreet (25 not out from 17) cut loose.

 

Harp calls the tune

Riley Meredith struck an early blow by removing Devdutt Padikkal's off stump before the Kings spinners came to the fore.

RCB were struggling on 36-1 at the end of the powerplay and were well behind the run rate when Kohli came down the track to Harpreet but lost his off stump.

Harpreet was on a hat-trick after bamboozling Maxwell with a peach of a delivery that clicked his off stump. It was pretty much game over when the same bowler had AB de Villiers caught at extra cover by Rahul, with Rajat Patidar soon following for 31.

KL Rahul and Chris Gayle powered Punjab Kings to a much-needed victory as they ended a three-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League in emphatic fashion against Mumbai Indians.

On the receiving end of significant margins in each of their previous defeats, the Kings turned the tables in style to surge to a nine-wicket triumph through a superb performance with bat and ball.

Despite a fine 63 from Rohit Sharma, Mumbai could only manage 131-6 as Mohammed Shami and young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi kept them in check.

Captain Rahul and Gayle then made short work of the target of 132, with Kings losing only one wicket in the process and reaching the finishing line with 14 balls to spare.

Rahul hit three fours and as many sixes in an unbeaten 60, while Gayle struck 43 off 35 balls as their partnership of 79 inspired the Kings.

Having already produced scores of 91 and 61 in this season's competition, Rahul laid the platform for a routine chase with a first-wicket stand of 53 with Mayank Agarwal.

Agarwal lofted Rahul Chahar to long-on as he was dismissed for 25, but the arrival of Gayle only served to help the Kings hit the accelerator.

His and Rahul's stand ensured there was never any doubt of them chasing a modest total, Mumbai having failed to offer Rohit sufficient support during their innings.

Rohit helped Mumbai to recover from 26-2 to 105-2 as he and Suryakumar Yadav (33 off 27) steadied the ship.

However, Suryakumar top-edged Bishnoi to Gayle at short third man to start the 16th over and Rohit soon followed in being dismissed when he fired a low full toss from Shami straight to deep square.

Kieron Pollard (16 not out off 12) provided an efficient cameo, but both Hardik (1) and Krunal Pandya (3) failed to get going as Mumbai limped to the finish to give the Kings a straightforward task.

Shikhar Dhawan smashed 92 to lead Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings in a high-scoring Indian Premier League encounter.

Half-centuries from KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal helped Punjab post 195-4 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after being put into bat by Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant.

However, Delhi – who came into the contest having alternated between defeat and victory across their previous seven IPL games – bounced back from a three-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals last time out in stunning fashion.

Dhawan dominated the Kings attack in a well-paced chase, following up his 85 in his side's opener against Chennai Super Kings with a marvellous knock that included 13 fours and two sixes.

Opening partner Prithvi Shaw contributed 32 at the top of the Capitals' order while Marcus Stoinis finished the job in a hurry, the all-rounder making 27 not out from just 13 balls.

Punjab's total had been built on the solid foundation provided by openers Rahul and Agarwal as they shared a 122-run stand, the latter the more aggressive of the pair as his score of 69 came from 36 deliveries.

West Indian duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran made just 11 and nine respectively as the innings briefly stuttered, but late cameos from Deepak Hooda – who hit two sixes to make 22 not out from 13 deliveries – and Shahrukh Khan (15 off five balls) lifted the Kings.

Delhi had lost five of the past seven meetings between the franchises but Dhawan made sure they prevailed this time, in the process becoming the competition's leading run-scorer in 2021.

 

Kings run into a spot of trouble

Rahul hit seven fours and two sixes while at the crease, but his 61 runs came from 51 deliveries at a strike-rate of 119.60.

Punjab Kings would have had designs on making in excess of 200 following the start they were given by their openers, but an inability to get after Ravichandran Ashwin – his four overs of spin went for just 28 runs – saw them come up just short.

Capitals gain from in-form opener

Dhawan received the orange cap after the game as he moved above Glenn Maxwell of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the run-scoring table. The left-hander is scoring at 163.15 runs per 100 deliveries in the 2021 edition of the Twenty20 tournament, despite having only hit four sixes.

Bowled within sight of a century as he attempted to sweep Australian seamer Jhye Richardson, Dhawan then watched on as Stoinis rushed his team home with 10 balls to spare.

Ravindra Jadeja's explosive lower-order hitting helped India to an 11-run victory over Australia in their Twenty20 series opener.

Jadeja scored 44 off 23 balls in Canberra as the tourists posted 161-7 before restricting Australia to 150-7 in response.

KL Rahul had laid some firm foundations as the opener put on a measured 51 to mitigate the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan, who contributed only one run.

The hosts also kept a lid on Virat Kohli, the India captain caught and bowled by Mitchell Swepson for nine.

Jadeja came to the crease with his side 92-5 in the 14th over and bludgeoned five fours and a six to lift India to a solid total.

He was struck on the helmet in the final over by a Mitchell Starc delivery and, though he initially continued, was replaced by concussion substitute Yuzvendra Chahal instead of taking to the field.

Australia's reply looked to be coming along nicely as D'Arcy Short (34) and Aaron Finch (35) put on 56 for the first wicket. 

Hardik Pandya catches ultimately accounted for both, with dangerous duo Glenn Maxwell (2) and Steve Smith (12) unable to stick around for long.

Moises Henriques' 30 off 20 raised hopes of a revival, but some excellent bowling from Thangarasu Natarajan (3-30) and Chahal (3-25) kept Australia at bay.

The sides meet again in Sydney on Sunday in the second game of a three-match series.

Australia will have to do without "all-time great" David Warner as they take on India in a three-match Twenty20 series. 

Just 48 hours after completing the third and final one-dayer, the two nations must quickly switch their focus to the shortest format. 

Manuka Oval in Canberra stages the opening T20 on Friday before the teams complete the series in Sydney, which hosted the first two ODI fixtures – both won by the home team.

However, Australia lost the finale when without the services of Warner, who is dealing with a groin injury that leaves him battling to be fit for the upcoming Tests against the same opponents.

Captain Aaron Finch admits it is never easy to be without a player of Warner's abilities, albeit the opening batsman's absence offers an opportunity for others with next year's T20 World Cup looming large on the horizon.

"It would be great to have him available, no doubt. But these things happen. Injuries happen. He's an all-time great in one-day cricket, in T20 cricket," Finch said after the third ODI. 

"I don't think there's many better players to have played the game, so any team that he is not a part of is going to be slightly weaker, I think. But we have got guys who can step up and really contribute heavily in that role as well." 

India will be hosting next year's global tournament after the 2020 edition, due to take place on Australian soil, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Virat Kohli leads the tourists but will not be present for the entire Test series that follows; India's skipper is to return home after the opening game to be present at the birth of his first child. 

 

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS 

It is not just Warner missing for Australia; pace bowler and vice-captain Pat Cummins is also set to be absent, while Mitchell Marsh is ruled out. 

Marcus Stoinis, meanwhile, is nursing a side strain and Mitchell Starc was not risked in the third and final one-dayer due to a back issue. 

Andrew Tye had already replaced Kane Richardson in the squad while Cameron Green – fresh from making his international debut on Wednesday – could be given further chances for the home side, who will be wearing Indigenous shirts for all three games.

Glenn Maxwell is available too – and is in excellent form with the bat. He posted scores of 45 or more in each of his three knocks in the 50-over games.

RAHUL RIGHT IN FORM

India have a decision to make at the top of the order with Rohit Sharma not available. 

KL Rahul could be used there after an outstanding Indian Premier League season with King's XI Punjab, as he finished the 2020 tournament as the competition's leading run-scorer.

The right-hander has also amassed more runs in T20 international cricket since 2019 than any other batsman from a Test-playing nation, managing 452 at a stunning average of 75.3.

Ravindra Jadeja, meanwhile, is in contention to make his 50th T20 appearance for India, a milestone only seven other players have achieved for the country.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Australia can record three multi-game bilateral T20 series victories on the bounce at home for the first time, having defeated Sri Lanka and Pakistan on home soil in 2019.
- India have registered five victories in their past six T20 outings in Australia (L1); all eight fixtures between these sides in the country have been won after losing the toss.
- Australia have only been involved in one previous men's T20 fixture at Manuka Oval, beating Pakistan by a margin of seven wickets with nine balls remaining in November 2019.
- Kohli has scored more runs in men's T20 games between these sides than anyone else (584); that is the most ever registered against a single opponent in the history of the format.

Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal combined to help Kings XI Punjab snatch a dramatic victory over Mumbai Indians in Dubai after double Super Over drama.

An extraordinary Indian Premier League match saw both sides post 176-6, with KL Rahul making a terrific 77 for Kings XI, before the teams then managed just five runs each in the first series of extra overs.

Chris Jordan gave away 11 to Mumbai as the second round of Super Overs began, helped by a magnificent piece of boundary fielding from Agarwal who denied Pollard a six from the final ball.

Agarwal caught the ball while in mid-air over the ropes and threw it back into play, athleticism that saved four runs, and after Gayle blasted Trent Boult for six at the start of KXIP's second extra over, it was Agarwal who finished the match with back-to-back boundaries.

Jasprit Bumrah (3-24) had earlier ended Rahul's innings with a scorching delivery at a pivotal point in KXIP's run chase, and Jordan was run out from the final ball of their 20 overs, chasing a second run for victory.

Bumrah limited Kings XI to just 5-2 in six balls of the first Super Over, before Mohammed Shami incredibly kept Mumbai to 5-1 thanks to a set of super yorkers.

After just two wins from their previous eight games this season, the Mohali-based Kings XI had looked poised for more disappointment as momentum repeatedly appeared to swing to their second-placed opponents, only for Gayle and Agarwal to produce the late heroics.

Quinton de Kock made a team-high 53 in Mumbai's innings, which benefited from an explosive seventh-wicket partnership of 57 between Kieron Pollard and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who only came together midway through the 17th over.

Jordan's turning circle

Had Jordan turned and run straight back on a batsman's usual path, he would surely have made his ground for the second run in that 20th over. Instead he swung around in a wide curve at the non-striker's end and ended up charging back bizarrely wide, seemingly taking several unnecessary strides that cost him his wicket. Somehow, he finished on the winning side nonetheless.

Living on the edge

Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma could have found himself facing questions if his early call in KXIP's innings proved pivotal. Boult drew a thin edge from opener Agarwal in the first over that was not spotted by the umpire, and there was no obvious shout from De Kock who gathered the ball safely behind the stumps. Boult was convinced and replays confirmed what he had seen, but Sharma declined the bowler's call for a review. Agarwal perished for 11, presumably sparing Sharma a post-game inquisition.

Chris Gayle made an impact and KL Rahul continued his impressive form as Kings XI Punjab once again come out on top against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Kings XI have found wins hard to come by in 2020 but have now triumphed in both games with Bangalore, albeit only after surviving a late wobble on Thursday. 

Gayle made 53 from 45 balls but was run out from the penultimate delivery with the scores level. That left Nicholas Pooran to come out and face one ball, which he proceeded to launch down the ground for six. 

The eight-wicket victory gives Kings XI renewed hope for the season, though they remain bottom of the table. 

Rahul – who made 132 not out in the previous meeting of the two franchises – finished up unbeaten on 61, in the process extending his lead at the top of the run-scoring table. 

Opening partner Mayank Agarwal weighed in with 45 as Bangalore's total of 171-6 was not quite enough, despite the unexpected final-over drama. 

Virat Kohli had top-scored with 48 but the Royal Challengers struggled to pick up the run-rate, making the decision to leave AB de Villiers down at six in the order even more surprising. 

The South African made just two but compatriot Chris Morris was far more successful in the closing stages, an eight-ball cameo seeing him make 25 not out. 

DE VILLIERS MADE TO WAIT 

De Villiers was at his explosive best against Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, smashing an unbeaten 73 from 33 balls. 

Despite that explosive display of hitting, Bangalore sent both Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube in ahead of him, before he eventually came out with four overs to go.

THE UNIVERSE BOSS IS BACK!

Gayle's involvement in the tournament was delayed by food poisoning, leading to a spell in hospital. He batted in the unfamiliar position of three for Kings XI, coming in after the opening duo had put on 78. 

After a cautious start, the left-hander cut loose with a solitary four and five sixes. Even his demise added a little drama, but Pooran finished the job in style with a maximum off Yuzvendra Chahal. 

Chennai Super Kings kick-started their 2020 Indian Premier League season on Sunday, as a record-breaking partnership from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson secured an emphatic 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab. 

Kings XI enjoyed a reasonably strong start, but ultimately their total of 178-4 was nowhere near enough to put off Du Plessis and Watson, who set a new franchise record for the highest ever partnership, as they finished on 181-0. 

Chennai had suffered three successive defeats heading into the match and their opponents – led by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – gave every indication that it could be another tough outing. 

However, they failed to build on the early promise and a late burst never arrived, as captain Rahul edged behind for 63 straight after Nicholas Pooran – whose 33 off 17 indicated a little more urgency – was dismissed in the same Shardul Thakur over. 

While a little slow to get going, Du Plessis (87 not out) found his groove and toyed with Chris Jordan, hitting him for four fours in the space of five balls. 

Watson, who finished up unbeaten on 83, was clearly in the mood too, reaching his half-century in 31 balls – two quicker than his partner – as the Kings XI attack had no answer. 

Their 181-run alliance makes it the second-highest target chased down without losing a wicket in IPL history, with the Kings XI replacing them at the foot of the table.

AN EMPHATIC RESPONSE FROM WATSON 

Watson and Du Plessis were deadly here, swatting away all the Kings XI bowlers could throw at them, and they secured the handsome victory with 14 balls to spare. 

It was a particularly applaudable performance from Watson, whose four previous innings (1, 14, 33 and 4) had attracted criticism – there will be none of that here. 

"I felt like something that been slightly off, technically," he said in the post-match presentation ceremony. "So, it was nice for it to come off. It was just a combination of technique and intent. I was able to get the weight through the ball a lot better." 

ANOTHER DIFFICULT DAY 

It has been a poor start for Kings XI, who are left bottom of the IPL having lost four of five matches, and it is arguable that they paid the price for failing to push on in the second half of their innings. 

Rahul was 46 off 44 in the 15th over, and while the partnership of Watson and Du Plessis would have made it a tall order to get the better of the Super Kings anyway, a more aggressive mentality might have made the difference. 

Rajasthan Royals pulled off the highest run chase in the history of the Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab, overshadowing a superb century from Mayank Agarwal.

Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia all made key contributions with the bat as the Royals pulled off a stunning four-wicket triumph to make it two from two in the early stages of the 2020 season. 

Agarwal shared in an opening stand worth 183 with in-form skipper KL Rahul as he made a magnificent 106, helping Kings XI post 223-2 after being put into bat.

Nicholas Pooran produced a late cameo, making 25 from just eight deliveries, though his most notable contribution came later in the field with a gravity-defying stop in the deep.

Rajasthan lost Jos Buttler early in their reply, yet captain Smith made 50 in a hurry to make sure his team remained up with the required rate. 

Samson top scored with 85 from just 42 deliveries but, after he became the first of three wickets for seamer Mohammed Shami, Tewatia took over. 

The left-hander vindicated his unexpected promotion up the order, overcoming a sluggish start to blast his team towards their target. Sheldon Cottrell suffered the most, taken for five sixes in an over that cost 30. 

Jofra Archer smashed two maximums to finish 13 not out before fellow England international Tom Curran delivered the winning blow, sending his first ball to the boundary midway through the last over.

 

OPENERS CAUSE ROYAL ISSUES

Having made 132 not out against Bangalore Royal Challengers last time, right-hander Rahul was again in the runs for Kings XI.

The India batsman made 69 from 54 deliveries but played second fiddle to opening partner Agarwal, who hit seven sixes and 10 fours to reach three figures from just 49 deliveries.

Their partnership is the third highest for the first wicket in the competition, while this was Agarwal's maiden IPL century.

POORAN TAKES OFF

Samson appeared to have hit Murugan Ashwin for six when he launched the spinner deep to midwicket in the eighth over of the Royals' innings.

However, Pooran had other ideas. Leaping backwards beyond the boundary, he managed to catch the ball before flicking it back into play prior to him hitting the ground, timing the release to perfection.

COTTRELL GOES THE DISTANCE

Tewatia, whose solitary over with the ball went for 19 runs, had 17 to his name from 23 balls at one stage. Then, with 51 required from the final three overs, everything changed - most notably his strike-rate.

He certainly took a liking to Cottrell's bowling, turning what appeared to be a tall order into a straightforward equation.

A solitary dot ball spared the left-armer completing the unwanted full set of sixes in the over, but the sudden onslaught turned the game at a crucial stage. 

KL Rahul punished Virat Kohli for a pair of drops by scoring the first century of the IPL season as Kings XI Punjab crushed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs in Dubai.

Kings XI captain Rahul spearheaded a dominant victory for his team – their first of the campaign – making an unbeaten 132 off 69 balls in a stunning display of big hitting.

The India international made 42 off his last nine deliveries as RCB were severely punished at the death, their last two overs from Dale Steyn (0-57) and Shivam Dube (2-33) going for 49.

Rahul brought up his ton in an incredible penultimate over that saw him plunder 26 off Steyn, as Kings XI surged from 157-3 to 206-3 at the end of their innings.

RCB paid a heavy price for captain Kohli twice dropping Rahul, first when he was on 83 again when he was on 90 and gearing up for a phenomenal late flurry.

Bangalore never looked like matching the tally. They were reduced to 3-4 when Sheldon Cottrell (17-2) removed Kohli for one, with Washington Sundar (30) and AB de Villiers (28) the only players to score more than 20 as they were skittled for 109.

 

RECORD-BREAKING RAHUL

By surpassing Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 128 for Delhi Daredevils in 2018, Rahul set a record for the highest score by an Indian batsman in the IPL.

De Villiers (133no), Brendon McCullum (158no) and Chris Gayle (175no) are the only players to have bettered Rahul's knock in the competition.

He finished with 14 fours and seven maximums.

NO WAY BACK

When Kohli sliced Cottrell to Ravi Bishnoi after Devdutt Padikkal sent the West Indies left-armer to the same man at mid-on, RCB were left with a mountain to climb.

Bishnoi (3-32) also claimed the scalps of Aaron Finch (20), Umesh Yadav (0) and Sundar to cap an impressive display, but the pick of the bowlers was Murugan Ashwin.

His leg spin accounted for De Villiers and put RCB out of their misery, with Navdeep Saini (6) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1) the final wickets to fall as Ashwin finished with figures of 3-21 from his three overs.

KL Rahul's fourth ODI century was not enough to prevent New Zealand from securing a five-wicket victory to complete a 3-0 series whitewash of India at Bay Oval on Tuesday.

Rahul struck a classy 112 from 113 balls as India posted 296-7 at Mount Maunganui after the fit-again Kane Williamson won the toss and put the tourists in, Hamish Bennett taking 4-64. 

That was not enough for Virat Kohli's side, who whitewashed the Black Caps in the Twenty20 series, to claim a consolation victory as the Cricket World Cup runners-up reached their target with 17 balls to spare.

Henry Nicholls (80) Martin Guptill (66 off 46) put on 106 for the first wicket and Colin de Grandhomme blasted 58 from 28 deliveries to consign India to another defeat.

Kyle Jamieson cleaned up Mayank Agarwal in the second over and held to a catch at third man to claim the big scalp of Kohli for only nine off the bowling of Bennett.

Prithvi Shaw (40) looked well set before he was run out, but Iyer and Rahul put India on their way to setting a challenging target with a fourth-wicket stand of 100.

Iyer brought up his 50 off 52 balls before falling to a short ball from Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner should have run both Rahul and Manish Pandey (42) out.

Rahul, looking very much at home at number five as wicketkeeper-batsman, accelerated after reaching his half-century, taking just 38 balls to move from 50 to three figures before eventually falling to Bennett after Jamieson dropped him off the previous delivery and the ball crossed the rope for six.

Guptill and Nicholls made a great start to the run chase, the former crunching Jasprit Bumrah over midwicket for six and clattering the expensive Shardul Thakur over the ropes for his half-century.

Nicholls continued to tick along nicely but Guptill was bowled by a beauty from Yuzvendra Chahal, the pick of the bowlers with 3-47, after he ought to have been run out by Rahul.

Spinners Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja drew false shots from Williamson (22) and Ross Taylor (12) respectively before Nicholls was caught behind trying to cut Thakur, having struck nine boundaries in an assured knock.

It looked to be game on when Neesham was removed by the impressive Chahal, with the Black Caps needing 77 to win off 63 balls.

De Grandhomme and Tom Latham (32 not out) stepped up to seal the clean sweep, the all-rounder smashing three sixes and finding the rope six times in a swashbuckling outing to end the series in style. 

Ross Taylor hit an unbeaten century as New Zealand pulled off their second-highest successful ODI run chase to beat India by four wickets and end an eight-match losing streak.

The Black Caps started the three-match ODI series at Seddon Park on Wednesday smarting from a 5-0 Twenty20 whitewash at the hands of India and had captain Kane Williamson among a string of absentees due to injury. 

New Zealand's hopes of stopping the rot, which started with a 3-0 Test series loss to Australia, looked slim when India posted 347-4 after being put in by stand-in skipper Tom Latham.

Shreyas Iyer (103) scored a maiden international hundred and KL Rahul blasted six sixes in an unbeaten 88 from only 64 balls after Virat Kohli (51) made yet another half-century.

New Zealand made light work of chasing down such a huge target, Taylor (109 not out) crafting a 21st ODI century to get them home with 11 balls to spare in their first match in the 50-over format since a heartbreaking Cricket World Cup final defeat to England.

Henry Nicholls (78) and Latham (69) also made contributions in a stunning victory, with head coach Gary Stead not present to witness it after taking a "pre-planned" break.

The tourists - missing the injured Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - lost ODI debutants Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal in quick succession after an opening stand of 50.

New Zealand had a long wait for another breakthrough, though, as Iyer and Kohli put India on their way to posting a big total, the skipper hitting six boundaries in an effortless knock before he was bowled by Ish Sodhi.

Iyer struggled for fluency, but started to take more risks after he and Kohli put on 102, with Rahul at his explosive best in a brutal onslaught as India piled on the runs.

Rahul set about Sodhi and Tim Southee with a magnificent display of timing and power, while Iyer had his first hundred after being dropped by Colin de Grandhomme on 83.

Southee finally ended Iyer's knock to halt a partnership of 136, but Rahul and Kedar Jadhav (26 not out off 15) added another 55 off only 27 balls.

Nicholls and Martin Guptill set the platform for the run chase with an opening stand of 85 before the latter ramped Shardul Thakur to Jadhav and Tom Blundell was stumped off Kuldeep for only nine in his first ODI innings. 

The in-form Nicholls was in great touch as he coasted to another half-century and Taylor clattered Jasprit Bumrah for six over midwicket with disdain.

Kohli swooped to run Nicholls out, but Taylor raised his bat for a 45-ball half-century and Latham signalled his intent from the start as he and the former skipper made it advantage New Zealand. 

Shardul was smashed for 22 in the 40th over and Taylor celebrated an imperious hundred off only 73 balls after Latham lofted the expensive Kuldeep (2-84) to Mohammed Shami at long-on.

Jimmy Neesham and de Grandhomme failed to hang around following that stand of 138 between Lathan and Taylor, but the number four was still there to hit the winning runs in the penultimate over.

India cruised to a 2-0 series lead against New Zealand with a controlled seven-wicket in the second Twenty20 at Eden Park on Sunday.

KL Rahul made a second successive half-century and Shreyas Iyer, who starred at the same venue two days earlier, contributed 44 runs as the tourists easily chased down the required 133 with 15 balls to spare.

Unlike in the series opener, the Black Caps failed to set a competitive total, with Martin Guptill (33) and Tom Seifert (33) the only batsman able to get on top of India's bowlers.

New Zealand must now win all three remaining matches to snatch an unlikely series victory from an in-form India.

Jasprit Bumrah held his place in the line-up after Friday's injury scare and was effective in restricting the home nation to 132-5 on a challenging surface in Auckland.

The seamer finished with economical figures of 1-21 from four overs as New Zealand were made to rue their decision to bat first.

Guptill fell to Shardul Thakur after building a promising 48-run opening partnership with Colin Munro (26), who followed him to the pavilion after giving Virat Kohli his second catch of the game off Shivam Dube.

The excellent Ravindra Jadeja (2-18) removed danger man Colin de Grandhomme and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson in quick succession to reduce New Zealand to 81-4 in the 13th over.

Ross Taylor (18 from 24) and wicketkeeper Seifert added 44 together to lift the total beyond 130, though it never looked like being enough to trouble India.

Rohit Sharma's departure in the opening over of the chase provided false hope to the home fans, who otherwise only had Kohli's exit for 11 - the skipper strangled down the leg side - to cheer about.

Tim Southee (20-2) claimed both key wickets but the rest of the Kiwi attack struggled to make inroads into a high-class top order.

Rahul anchored the innings with a measured 57 from 50 as he and Iyer put on 86 in 11 overs, the latter eventually well caught by Southee off Ish Sodhi (1-33) as India accelerated towards the finish line.

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