The Blackcaps have started the T-20 series on a high having lost the one-day series (4-1), as the clinical New Zealand outplayed India in all three departments to win the first T-20 international by 80 runs on Wednesday.
Despite losing the toss, New Zealand were off to a rollicking start, courtesy an 86-run opening stand between Munro and debutant Tim Siefert as Indian bowlers couldn’t fetch early wickets to inflict any damage to the New Zealanders.
It was an odd day for the India seamers as the trio of (Bhuvneshwar, Khaleel, and Krunal) combined went for 132 runs in 12 overs.
Keeper Tim Seifert gave his team the ideal start who played an incredible knock of 84 runs off just 43 deliveries. Be it his stance to his shot selections, aggression or the caution, one could see a glimpse of Brendon McCullum from the right-hander in his 84-run knock.
Krunal Pandeya provided India the first scalp in the ninth over as Collin Munro was caught at long off on 34. However, the left-hander had given his team the required start that they were looking for.
Perhaps, The New Zealanders were in no mood to give the opposition the slightest of chance to bring them back into the match as skipper Williamson and Seifert stitched 48-run first wicket partnership in a bid to take the total past 200.
Skipper Williamson, Taylor and Kuggelejin’s cameo in the latter half of the innings did help to impose an improbable target of 219 for India to chase in the first T-20.
The New Zealand bowlers led by Tim Southee started off brilliantly, bowling full and not giving any room to the batsmen as India’s middle order fragility was once again on display with Rohit and Dhawan departing early in the innings.
India had gone with two extra wicket-keepers in the match in a bid to finalize the one for the World Cup. While it wasn’t a good day for Dinesh Kartik who dropped two catches in the first inning and getting out for just five in the second, Rishabh Pant too struggled, trying to do much early on in his inning and eventually getting bowled by Santner at four.
Former skipper MS Dhoni didn’t find any support at the other end as India kept losing wickets in small intervals in a bid to chase a massive 220 total and eventually getting all out at 139 and lose the match by 80 runs.