Auckland, January 24: Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul slammed brilliant half-centuries as Team India defeated New Zealand by six wickets and took 1-0 lead at Eden Park in Auckland (January 24).
Chasing a target of 204 set by the BlackCaps, the Men In Blue reached home in 19 overs thanks to some blistering batting performances from Rahul (56) and Iyer (58*). Iyer played a sensational knock as he finished the match for the tourists in style.
Virat Kohli, who was playing his first T20I innings on New Zealand soil, played another brilliant knock and scored 45. His stand of 99 runs with Rahul laid the foundation for the Indians. Rohit Sharma couldn't do much with the bat as he was dismissed cheaply for 6.
After Kohli's dismissal, Shivam Dube (13) played a small cameo before the all-rounder perished while trying to up the ante in the run chase. But Manish Pandey (14*) played a brilliant second fiddle to in-form Iyer and stitched a fifty partnership with the Mumbaikar and took his team home. Iyer was awarded the man of the match for his unbeaten knock of 29-ball 58.
Earlier in the day, Colin Munro (59), Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (54*) struck brilliant half-centuries to guide the hosts to a sub-par 203/5 in stipulated 20 overs after Kohli invited the BlackCaps to bat first.
With this win, Team India have taken a 1-0 lead in the series and all eyes will now be on the second T20I that will be played at the same venue on Sunday (January 26).
Here's how the 1st T20I between India and NZ panned out in Auckland:
Virat Kohli | India captain: We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic. Felt like 80% support was for us and the crowd was right behind us. You need that sort of push chasing 200+. We never spoke of the jetlag in the team. We didn't want any excuse. We just focused on what we needed to do to win. We were looking forward to play. 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.
Kane Williamson | New Zealand captain: There are a lot of positives. It is hard to defend here and there was a bit of dew here. We knew we had to score over 200 with this being a used surface. 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. But we do need to find ways to pick up some wickets. It was nice to build some partnerships. Guys came in and played their roles really well. It's important we improve in all areas in the next game.
Shreyas Iyer | Player of the Match: 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.
Indians with Most Sixes in T20s since the start of 2019 Shreyas Iyer - 67 KL Rahul - 58 Nitish Rana - 46 Manish Pandey - 43 Rishabh Pant - 41
ANDDDD!!! Shreyas Iyer finishes off in style. India beat New Zealand by 6 wickets
Four! Shreyas Iyer welcomes Southee with back-to-back boundaries. That's fifty for the Mumbaikar. India cruising.
Four, Four! Shreyas Iyer gets back-to-back boundaries off Bennett
10 runs came from that Southee over, India reach 175/4 in 17 overs. They need 29 from 18 balls.
SIX! Shreyas Iyer flicks the short-pitched delivery from Southee and gets a maximum.
India reach 165/4 in 16 overs. They require 39 from 24 balls. Sodhi ends his quota of 4 overs with 36-2.
SIX!! Manish Pandey hits Sodhi over long-on for a maximum.
Four! Shreyas Iyer hits Sodhi towards cover and gets a boundary.
7 runs conceded by Bennett. India reach 151/4 after 15 overs. They need 53 runs from 30 balls.
150 comes up for India in 14.5 overs.
Brilliant over from Sodhi as he concedes just a couple of single and gets the wicket of Shivam Dube. India - 144/4 in 14 overs. It's looking to be tight one for India now
Wicket! Shivam Dube (13) looks to hit Sodhi for another biggie but fails to clear it. Southee takes a well-judged catch in the deep. India - 142/4 in 13.2 overs. They are losing wickets at a crucial juncture.
India reach 142/3 after 13 overs. Shivam Dube played a couple of big shots in that Santner over.
Iyer got a boundary in that over. India reach 129/3 after 12 overs.
Wicket! Kohli (45) flicks but he is caught brilliantly by Martin Guptill at mid-wicket and Tickner gets rid of the in-form Indian captain. India - 127/3 in 11.3 overs.
Wicket! KL Rahul (56) is caught by Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi breaks the threatening partnership. India - 115/2
India reach 108/1 after 9 overs.
SIX!!! KL Rahul brings up his 10th T20I fifty in style and that also brings 100 up for India.
Lucky! Ish Sodhi puts down a sitter as Virat Kohli mistimes and the ball sails towards third-man.
Last five Rahul - Kohli partnerships (T20I): 55, 17, 100, 95, 75*
SIX!! KL Rahul just slices Santner and the ball sails over his head for a maximum. Sweetly timed! 14 runs came from that over. India reach 91/1 after 8 overs.
India reach 77/1 after 7 overs. Rahul and Kohli have stitched 61-run-stand between them off 32 deliveries.
Four! Kohli hits Ish Sodhi over long-on for a boundary.
India reach 65/1 after 6 overs. Good start for India in the powerplay.
Four! Virat Kohli pulls Southee and the ball races towards the boundary like a bullet.
Lucky! KL Rahul and Virat Kohli both survive a run out chance as the fielders were involved in a mix-up. It was comedy of errors from the Kiwis.
SIX! KL Rahul whacks Tim Southee over mid-wicket for a maximum. And that brings up 50 for India.
2! Kohli takes a quick double on the final delivery of that Tickner over and India reach 41/1 after 4 overs.
SIX!! Virat Kohli hits lofts Tickner over long-off for a maximum.
10 from Bennett's over, India reach 31/1 after 3 overs.
Four! Virat Kohli hits Hamish Bennett over mid-on for a boundary. This is his first boundary of the innings.
17 runs plus the big wicket of Rohit Sharma came from that second over. India - 21/1 after 2 overs.
50th T20I wicket for Santner. He's the third NZ bowler after Southee (75) & Nathan McCullum (58) to this club.
SIX & Wicket!! Rohit Sharma (7) hits Santner for a maximum but mistimes on the very next delivery to give a simple catch to Taylor at point. India 16/1,
Four! Mitchell Santner bowls the second over for NZ and KL Rahul welcomes him with a boundary.
Tight first over from Southee as he concedes just 4 from it. India - 4/0 after 1st over.
2nd innings! Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are in the middle to begin India's run chase against NZ. Tim Southee to start with the new ball for the BlackCaps.
Three 50+ scores for a team in a T20I (for matches involving full-Test nations): Ind vs Eng Durban 2007 SA vs Eng Mumbai WS 2016 Aus vs SL Adelaide 2019 Ind vs WI Mumbai WS 2019 NZ vs Ind Auckland 2020*
End of the innings! Bumrah concedes 12 from the final over. New Zealand finish innings at 203/5. India need 204 to win.
203. Most days good score. Here, maybe about 10 over par? No more, I think.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 24, 2020
200 up for NZ n the 20th over
50! Ross Taylor mistimes it but the ball lands in no man's land. This is his sixth fifty in T20Is
Good news! Bumrah is up and he's ready to bowl the last 4 overs of the innings.
Bad news! Bumrah has twisted his left ankle and he's down.
New Zealand reach 191/5 in 19 overs. 9 came from that Shami over. Taylor batting on 43*, hosts look for a positive finish.
Four! Shami bowls the penultimate over for India and Taylor welcomes him with another boundary.
Wicket! Tim Seifert (1) plays a chip shot off Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer takes a simple catch in the deep. NZ - 181/5 in 17.5 overs.
Wicket! Kane Williamson (51) mistimes Chahal this time and Kohli takes a simple catch at point region. NZ - 178/4 in 17 overs.
50! Third boundary of the over from Kane Williamson and he brings up his 10th T20I half-century. NZ - 178/3 in 16.5 overs
Four, Four! Back-to-back boundaries from Kane Williamson off Chahal, runs continue to flow for NZ
4,1,4,6,6,1! 22 runs leaked by Shami from that over and New Zealand reach 165/3 in 16 overs. The pacer has leaked 44 runs from his 3 overs.
SIX, SIX!! Taylor is making a mockery of Indian bowling in the death overs. Hits Shami for back-to-back maximums.
Four! Taylor this time, the batsman pulls Shami and a mix-up near the boundary ropes from Chahal costs India.
Four! Shami has been brought into the attack and Kane Williamson welcomes him with a boundary.
SIX! Taylor hammers Jadeja for a maximum this time and ends the over on a positive note. NZ - 143/3 in 15 overs.
Four! Clever shot from Ross Taylor as he reverse-sweeps Jadeja and gets a boundary.
9 runs came from that over bowled by Shivam Dube. NZ - 130/3 after 14 overs.
SIX!! Kane Williamson pulls Dube for a maximum. Chahal was almost 5 to 6 metres inside. He should have been near the boundary ropes, Kohli is not happy with the fielder.
5 runs and a wicket from that first over bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. NZ - 121/3 in 13 overs.
Wicket! Colin de Grandhomme (0) flicks Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube takes a fine catch at short-fine leg. NZ - 117/3 in 12.2 overs
Wicket! Colin Munro (59) hits Shardul over cover region, couldn't time it well and Chahal takes the catch. NZ - 116/2 in 11.5 overs.
SIX, SIX!! Kane Williamson dispatches Shardul Thakur over mid-wicket for a back-to-back maximums. Brilliant shot from the skipper.
11 runs leaked by Chahal from that over and that brings up 100 for NZ. NZ - 102/1 after 11 overs.
SIX!! Inside-out shot from Kane Williamson off Dube and it goes all the way for a maximum. NZ - 91/1 after 10 overs.
Just 3 runs conceded by Chahal from his second over. NZ reach 84/1 after 9 overs.
Wicket! Martin Guptill (30) looks to hit Shivam Dube but an alert Rohit Sharma takes a brilliant catch at deep mid-wicket to get the breakthrough. NZ - 80/1 after 7.5 overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been introduced by the Indian skipper as NZ openers attacked pacers in the powerplay. The wrist-spinner concedes just 5 from his first over. NZ - 73/0 after 7 overs.
SIX!! Guptill opens the face of the bat and just times the ball to perfection over long-on. All Shami could do was stare at the ball taking the aerial route. NZ - 68/0 after 6 overs.
Highest Powerplay score for NZ vs India in T20Is. Goes past 66/0 they made in Wellington & Hamilton last year
Four! Guptill just flicks the short-pitched delivery from Shami and the ball goes over mid-wicket for a boundary.
Guptill sneaks a quick single off Bumrah and New Zealand reach 50 without loss in the 5th over itself.
Four! Misfielding from Shardul Thakur in the deep and Martin Guptill gets a boundary. Bumrah isn't looking happy.
On this ground, 220 may not be a safe total to defend. That doesn’t mean India should be lax in the field!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 24, 2020
Four! Top-edge from Munro and the ball goes over KL Rahul's head for a boundary.
Four & SIX!! Colin Munro first gets a boundary off Shardul Thakur towards mid-on and hits the bowler over mid-on for a maximum.
Four! Colin Munro flicks Shami and the ball travels one bounce into the fence.
Samson must focus on his batting.
Dilip Vengsarkar was a wk during his school & college days. Kept wickets for Bombay university too but later gave it up & concentrated on batting. Now that K L Rhul is preferred as a wk Sanju Samson must concentrate more on batting & fielding.— Makarand Waingankar (@wmakarand) January 24, 2020
1st innings! Martin Guptill and Colin Munro are into the middle to start NZ innings. NZ reach 7/0 after 1st over bowled by Bumrah.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Tim Seifert(w), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul(w), Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami
Williamson: It was a 50-50 decision with the track being used. We would want to get some runs on the board first and then defend it. The two guys missing out are Mitchell and Kuggeleijn. So we have two seamers, de Grandhomme. It's a fantastic opportunity against one of the best sides, if not the best sides. It's a chance for us to become a better side and execute our plans.
Kohli: We're gonna have a bowl first. Looks a nice pitch to bat on. It might be hard to pick the ball up initially due to twilight. We're pretty much fine (from the travel) but we're fine now. We've played 50-over cricket (heading to this series) and are ready for T20 cricket. The five guys not playing are Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Sanju Samson. The character to bounce back from difficult situations gives us an edge in alien conditions. We just gotta come out and play with belief in our abilities.
Sunil Gavaskar and Scott Styris come up with pitch report: "It's a boundary-hitting ground. No total is unchaseable. Looks a good pitch to bat on. There isn't any grass on the surface. Seamers might not get much help from it. It's a hard deck, so the ball should come on nicely to the bat and encourage strokeplay."
5 T20, 3 ODI, 2 Test matches on this tour of New Zealand. Shows how priorities have been redefined in the new millenium— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 24, 2020