Krunal Pandya, who returned with figures of three for 28, won the Man of the Match award. @ Twitter

India avenged their record 80-run defeat in the series opener and romped home to a seven-wicket win to level the three-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland on Friday. (India vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I: FULL SCORECARD)

Opting to bat, the hosts set a modest 159-run target that was never enough considering the small dimensions at the Eden Park. New Zealand stuttered at the start with Krunal Pandya’s three wickets reducing the Kiwis to 50/4 in the eighth over.

After the departure of Tim Seifert, the hero in New Zealand’s opener at Wellington, for 12 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the elder of the Pandya brothers had Colin Munro (12), Daryl Mitchell (1) and captain Kane Williamson (20). However, a 77-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Colin de Grandhomme (50) and Ross Taylor (42) steered the innings to safety.

The target proved to be insufficient as stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma found his form just in time to as he tonked three boundaries and four sixes in his 29-ball 50 and became the highest run scorer Twenty20 International history as India cruised to victory with seven balls to spare. (ALSO READ: Rohit Sharma becomes highest run-getter in T20Is)

“It felt really nice to contribute for the team. It’s always special when you contribute to a win. The dimensions are quite different from Wellington, the straight boundaries were short and I had to adjust my length to it,” Krunal, who returned with figures of three for 28, which won him the Man of the Match award, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The decider of the series is at Hamilton on Sunday. “Looking forward to the decider in two days’ time,” Krunal said.