28 Feb 2009

McCullum helps snatch last-ball Twenty20 win over India

2:38 pm on 28 February 2009

Brendon McCullum hit a single off the last ball to lead New Zealand to a thrilling five-wicket win over India in the second Twenty20 international at Wellington on Friday to take the series 2-0.

McCullum held his nerve in a nailbiting final over from Irfan Pathan to guide New Zealand past India's total of 149-6, finishing with an unbeaten 69. The home team finished on 150-5.

New Zealand's chances of winning looked slim when they needed nine runs off the last three balls but McCullum kept his cool, smacking two successive boundaries to level the scores before slicing the final delivery over the infield to seal the win.

McCullum, who also made an unbeaten half-century in New Zealand's seven-wicket win over the Twenty20 world champions in Christchurch on Tuesday, produced another great innings when his team needed it most.

The wicketkeeper-batsman faced 55 balls and struck eight boundaries and a six. The only other New Zealanders to pass 20 were opener Jesse Ryder (26) and Ross Taylor (27).

Yuvraj Singh top-scored for India with 50 off 34 deliveries, featuring three sixes and three fours, but his dismissal stopped India's run flow.

Opener Virender Sehwag had got the tourists off to a good start with 24 and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni chipped in with 28 not out but they could not defend their modest total despite some tight bowling.

The two sides meet again in Napier on Tuesday in the first of five one-day internationals before locking horns in three tests in March and April.