In the first T20I between India and New Zealand, India won the toss and elected to field first.
The Kiwi’s opening duo Martin Guptill & Colin Munro came into bat first while Jasprit Bumrah bowled the first over. Runs were flowing in all the directions for the opening duo as Eden Park is a small ground with shorter boundaries and a rapid outfield.
After the powerplay, New Zealand scored 68 runs. India had to do something magical to break this opening partnership. Shivam Dube did just that by removing Guptill. Soon, Shardul removed Munro, and in the very next over, Jadeja dismissed Colin de Grandhomme.
Then the experienced batsman from the New Zealand side skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor put up a healthy partnership. Williamson completed his fastest T20I century off 25 balls but was been dismissed off the next ball by Chahal who dismissed him with a loopy delivery pitched wide outside the off-stump.
It was a 25-ball half-century for Ross Taylor as well. In fact, his first in T20I cricket after a gap of six years. There was a minor injury scare for Bumrah in the final over when he twisted his ankle at the edge of the drop-in pitch. He was down in pain but luckily for India, it was not anything major.
After their innings, New Zealand set a target of 204 for India.
India had to start very well to chase down such a huge total. India’s key was its top order, and the team completely relied on them.
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul opened the innings, But unfortunately, Rohit had to depart early after Santner’s spin hit the top edge of Rohit’s willow and Taylor grabbed the catch.
Then, Indian Skipper Virat stepped in and set the tempo early when he hit two boundaries straight down the ground and followed them up with a six off Tickner. But, it was Rahul’s show after that. His stunning short-arm flick off Southee into the stands was a standout.
Rahul reached his 50 in just 23 balls. After a good partnership between both the batsman, Kohli departed owing to an excellent fielding effort from Guptill. He scored 45 off 32 balls.
Shivam Dube stepped in next but was unable to score freely and had to leave for a score of only 13. Shreyas Iyer stepped in and took the responsibility on his shoulder and guided the Indian team to a 6-wicket win along with Manish Pandey.
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli – “We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic. The crowd was right behind us. We never spoke of the jetlag in the team. We just focused on what we needed to do to win. We were looking forward to doing well. We have done well in T20Is in the last one year. You can’t be harsh on anyone on this sort of a pitch. I thought 230 was on at one point, but we pulled it back nicely.”
New Zealand Skipper Kane Williamson – “There are a lot of positives. It is hard to defend here and there was a bit of dew here. To score over 200 on a used wicket was a good effort. Credit to India for the way they played. Taking pace off seemed to be working okay, but it was tough to execute because India put us under pressure constantly. It was nice to build some partnerships. Guys came in and played their roles well.”
Man Of The Match Shreyas Iyer (58 Runs in 29 Balls) – “We had lost quick wickets, so we had to build partnerships. We always knew we can score runs because this is a small ground. Looking forward to similar support in the remaining games as well.”