The Indian women's cricket team suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the Eden Park in Auckland to New Zealand in the second T20I and the loss means they have also surrendered the series.
The Kiwis clinched a last-ball win as they chased the 136-run target with four wickets in hand and have now taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Put into bat, the Indians finished their innings on 135 for six. Jemimah Rodrigues top-scored with 72, while Smriti Mandhana chipped in with 36. The two put together 63 runs for the second wicket in just over seven overs.
But Mandhana's dismissal halted India's progress and no batter gave Rodrigues the support she needed. Apart from Jemimah and Smriti, no other Indian got into double figures. Rodrigues batted till the penultimate over but with just 63 runs coming in the last ten overs, all the effort at the start of the innings felt wasted in the end.
In reply, New Zealand had Suzie Bates leading a strong top-order show with a 52-ball 62. With the 100 of the innings coming up in the 15th over, the hosts looked the favorites to win the game but a clutch of wickets brought India back into the match.
Poonam Yadav first accounted for Amy Satterthwaite for 23, and a double-wicket over from Arundhati Reddy - including the scalp of Bates, changed the complexion of the match completely.
It came down to 15 needed from two overs and, then, nine from six balls. The first ball of the last over by Mansi Joshi was struck for a boundary by Katey Martin. But Joshi castled Martin with the very next ball. The third ball of the over saw an overthrow and the Kiwis needed two in two balls. A single in each of the last three deliveries secured the match and the series for the Kiwis.
The last T20I of the series will be played on Sunday at Hamilton.