Yuvraj Singh prepares to bowl during the second and final Twenty20 international cricket match between India and New Zealand in Chennai.
Yuvraj Singh made an emotional return to international cricket but India snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to allow New Zealand to win the Twenty20 series with a thrilling one-run victory here tonight.
Chasing a target of 168, the hosts were cruising along comfortably at one stage but faltered at the death to give Black Caps a 1-0 series win as they finished at 166 for four.
The first T20 international in Visakhapatnam was washed out without a ball being bowled.
Men in Blue needed 13 runs from the last over but could manage only manage 11 in a dramatic finish which saw Virat Kohli's blazing 41-ball 70 go in-vain.
Once Kohli was dismissed was out in the 14th over, the momentum suddenly shifted as Yuvraj who scored 34 off 26 balls with a boundary and two sixes along Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22 not out) couldn't find the ropes. New Zealand's experienced T20 bowlers Jacob Oram and James Franklin used the slower deliveries to good effect.
It was Franklin who bowled well disguised slower delivery to clean up Yuvraj, who played his first match after recovering fom rare germ cell cancer. With six required from last two deliveries, Rohit Sharma could only manage four with couple of doubles. Franklin took a bow and Indian dressing room were stunned in disbelief as to how they managed to lose this match from a winning position.
A target of 168 is respectable by any standards but Kohli started in right earnest as he hit a flurry of boundaries. He hit some lovely cover drives, a good straight drive, a lofted shot over mid-off as India scored 47 in the first
Gautam Gambhir came cropper as he closed his bat face to give a return catch to Kyle Mills but there was no stopping Kohli as he repeatedly found the boundary.
Kohli completed a well-deserved half century off 30 balls when he charged out to hit left-arm spinner Ronnie Heera for a boundary.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.