India v New Zealand, 2nd Twenty20, Chennai September 12, 2012

Franklin turns 'topsy-turvy game'

ESPNcricinfo staff

When Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli were warming up to the chase of 168 in Chennai, with a couple of sixes in the 13th over, it looked as though New Zealand's tour would end the way it had panned out so far: winless. India required 49 runs from the last seven overs, but that was before James Franklin came in to bowl.

He immediately dismissed Kohli for 70, which looked like a minor blip in the chase, but after a couple of tight overs from him and Jacob Oram, India's required run rate jumped to 10.66. They fell short by one run in the end.

"[It was a] topsy-turvy game," Franklin said. "With probably six-seven overs to go, it was very much India's game, and they were steamrolling towards the win. But, as we know, the nature of Twenty20 can change very quickly in a matter of one or two overs, and that certainly happened tonight and we were able to close out the game."

Franklin bowled the final over, with India needing 13 to win. Yuvraj was dismissed with three balls to go and only 11 runs were scored. It was Franklin's most expensive over; he had stifled India's scoring in his other three and ended with figures of 2 for 26. Franklin said they bowled a number of slower balls to make scoring difficult.

"Most of the good batsmen out in the middle struggled with the ball not coming on in terms of lack of pace. We had to use cross seamers and take the pace off the ball. Obviously that worked for us in the back end of the innings."

For any chance of winning though, New Zealand needed a total big enough to defend against an accomplished Indian batting line-up. That they did through a commanding 91 off 55 balls from Brendon McCullum. Franklin said New Zealand were surprised with India's decision to field first.

"[The toss] certainly raised a few eyebrows. A few of our players have played IPL over here and Chennai's famous for being a batters' first wicket, but they'll have their reasons for doing that. We were always going to bat first and try and put a total on the board, which we did thankfully [as] Brendon McCullum put on a great performance with a 91. It was up to our bowlers to defend it, which we did."

The win was among New Zealand's few positive results in recent months, after they lost the limited-overs legs and the Test series against West Indies before being beaten by India in the Tests in Hyderabad and Bangalore.

"It's nice to win games; been a long few weeks for us, obviously losing the Test series 2-0 and the rain in [Visakhapatnam] didn't help matters but it's always nice to win tight games like that," Franklin said.

New Zealand will head to Sri Lanka to play two warm-up matches in Colombo against Australia and South Africa before the World Twenty20.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saqlain on September 15, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    It seemed to me, that dhoni was planning on keeping on strike for most of the last over. This ploy has worked in several matches, including one in australia but didnt this time. Wonder if anyone noticed that dhoni called yuvraj for 2 runs but yuvraj decided he wanted to be on strike. I'm certain that if dhoni had regained the strike he would have pulled off another win or atleast a tie. And sadly, i don't think even he planned what would happen if yuvraj got out. Anyways best of luck for the t20 world cup.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    kiwis have very well balanced team but they had to fight real hard to go to next level in t20 wc as two asian teams are placed with them .Kiwis love to play semis but this time around i think fav 4 are australia south africa srilanka and west indies . Pakistan can make final four if they can go thru group stages which is very tough .

  • Hawks on September 12, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    @davidpk: I partly agree with you dude!!! A lot of T20 cricket is payed in India but the major one is IPL where almost all the talented player across the world are invited to show their mettle. It doesn't mean that it will also make the team India talented. lol....It's not the case. The main and serious thing is that the Indians are among the least talented nations in Asia. With the population of 1030 millions they couldn't produce a fast/medium fast bowler of the likes of Lasith Malinga, Vaas, Wickrema Singhe, Aaqib Javed, Muhammad Zahid, Muhammad Akram, Shahadat Hussain NOT TO TALK OF Wasim,Waqar,Shoaib,Imran,Muhammad Aamir,Asif. Only Kapil Dev,Srinath and to some extent Zaheer Khan showed some talent but the bitter fact is that they were/are just club-level bowlers!!! A big SHAME!!!

  • Ajay on September 12, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    Franklin and NZ just got lucky that few balls did not connect the bat or else india would have won easily anyway it was a good workout and best of luck india forT20WC.....

  • Hawks on September 12, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    The real giants to watch in semi-finals are Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and Australia. The rest of the teams will be like this according to their points at the table S.A,N.Z, B.D,Eng, Ireland, Afghanistan, Zim and India.

  • Munafs on September 12, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Good that NZ got into form even if it meant my fav team lost. Bangladeshis and my dear Pakistanis will have their work cut out now that NZ are back in winning mode.

  • Raju on September 12, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    to Varun Raman : I suppose it is very easy for you to say Dhoni could not hit a ball with pace, man, how many time have you ever hit a ball with or without pace; fact is it was a good game which one team had to lose.

  • Tim on September 12, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Well done Franklin and McCullum for great games. When the Kiwis fire they ate a match for anyone although over the past year or so they've shown us much more bad than good. India's admittedly mediocre bowlers had no answer for the onslaught today even after taking early wickets.

  • david on September 12, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    why does india get beat in so many T20 games. if the IPL was so good other than the money.but it does not seem to improve the indian team game as a whole. they have the best T20 league including many good overseas cricketers. but that relates them been one of the worst national teams in T20 cricket.

  • ravi on September 12, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    The way Virat was playing in the middle, it was always India's game to lose. Kudos to Kiwis for pulling back things and clinching a deserved victory!!

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