In the first T20I of the bilateral series between India and New Zealand, the former won the fixture by five wickets. The hosts went 1-0 up in the series following a last-over finish in the first game.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck in the first over of the game and sent back Daryl Mitchell to the pavilion. After an early wicket, Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman gathered 109 runs for the second wicket and set a stage for an emphatic finish to the first innings. The threatening partnership was broken by Ravichandran Ashwin when he bowled Chapman. India didn’t let the Kiwis finish off well and restricted them to a competitive total of 164.
The Indian team was off to a terrific start due to Rohit Sharma’s assault in the powerplay. Rohit smashed Trent Boult in several parts of the ground early in the chase. Following KL Rahul‘s wicket in the sixth over, Suryakumar Yadav joined the new T20I skipper at the crease. Without taking much time to settle in, the number three batsman started playing his shots. The run rate came down in the middle overs as both batsmen were just knocking the bowl around to keep the scoreboard ticking. Rohit was dismissed in the 14th over when he was just two runs short of his half-century. Yadav continued the attack and took his team closer to the target before he departed in the 17th over. A couple of wickets in two consecutive overs hindered India’s momentum, which led the match into the final over. With three needed off three, Pant walked down the pitch and hammered the ball over the covers fielder for a boundary.
Ashwin and Kumar were the picks among the bowlers as they pocketed two wickets each. Chahar and Siraj had one scalp each to their names. For the Blackcaps, Boult grabbed two wickets while Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Daryl Mitchell had one wicket each.
India currently leads the series 1-0, Yadav was adjudged Man of the Match for his scintillating 62 off 40 deliveries with six boundaries and three sixes.