A victorious, fitting end to Nehra’s career

India innings (toss: New Zealand, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
R Sharma caught Latham, bowled Boult 80 (55) 6 4 145.45
S Dhawan caught Latham, bowled Sodhi 80 (52) 10 2 153.84
H Pandya caught Latham, bowled Sodhi 0 (2) 0 0 0.00
V Kohli not out 26 (11) 0 3 236.36
MS Dhoni not out 7 (2) 0 1 350.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: S Iyer, A Patel, B Kumar, J Bumrah, A Nehra, and Y Chahal
Extras: 9 (2 no-balls, 1 wide, 1 leg bye, 5 byes)
India’s total: 202/3 in 20 overs, at 10.10 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 158/1 (Dhawan, 16.2), 158/2 (Pandya, 16.4), 185/3 (Rohit, 18.6)
New Zealand bowling
Bowlers Overs Dot balls Runs given Wickets  Economy
M Santner 4 9 30 0 7.50
T Boult 4 8 49 1 12.25
T Southee 4 5 44 0 11.00
C de Grandhomme 3 3 34 0 11.33
I Sodhi 4 8 25 2 6.25
C Munro 1 0 14 0 14.00
New Zealand innings (target: 203 runs in 20 overs, at 10.15 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
M Guptill caught Pandya, bowled Chahal 4 (8) 1 0 50.00
C Munro bowled Bhuvneshwar 7 (8) 0 0 87.50
K Williamson caught Dhoni, bowled Pandya 28 (24) 1 1 116.66
T Latham stumped Dhoni, bowled Chahal 39 (36) 3 1 108.33
T Bruce caught Rohit, bowled Axar 10 (10) 1 0 100.00
C de Grandhomme caught Dhawan, bowled Axar 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
H Nicholls run out by Kohli 6 (7) 1 0 85.71
M Santner not out 27 (14) 2 2 192.85
T Southee caught Dhoni, bowled Bumrah 8 (4) 2 0 200.00
I Sodhi not out 11 (9) 2 0 122.22
Batsman who didn’t bat: T Boult
Extras: 9 (1 no-ball, 5 wides, 3 leg byes)
NZ’s total: 149/8 in 20 overs, at 7.45 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 6/1 (Guptill, 1.3), 18/2 (Munro, 3.4), 54/3 (Williamson, 9.1), 83/4 (Bruce, 12.4), 84/5 (de Grandhomme, 12.6), 94/6 (Nicholls, 14.4), 99/7 (Latham, 15.3), 111/8 (Southee, 16.4)
India bowling
Bowlers Overs Dot balls Runs given Wickets Economy
A Nehra 4 11 29 0 7.25
Y Chahal 4 10 26 2 6.50
B Kumar 3 10 23 1 7.67
J Bumrah 4 12 37 1 9.25
A Patel 4 6 20 2 5.00
H Pandya 1 1 11 1 11.00

1st T20 man-of-the-match:

Shikhar Dhawan, for scoring 80 runs off 52 balls

Match top scorer: Shikhar Dhawan (80 runs off 52 balls;¬†10×4 and 2×6)

Where was the 1st T20 won and lost?

India dominated New Zealand from start to finish and thoroughly deserved their 53-run victory, which by the way is their first against the Blackcaps. Having been sent into bat after losing the toss, Team India got off to a dream start, with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma putting together 158 runs for the first wicket; this now is India’s highest opening partnership in T20Is.

New Zealand, uncharacteristically, dropped the kind of catches you expect them to take: Dhawan was dropped by Mitchell Santner when this Indian opener was on 8, and he went on to make 80 runs off 52 balls; Rohit was also given a reprieve when he was batting only on 16 and he too made 80. Those dropped catches proved costly indeed!

With Rohit and Dhawan putting together this massive partnership, India won the defining battle between the Indian top order and the New Zealand bowlers.

Ish Sodhi struck twice in the 17th over, dismissing Dhawan and the promoted Hardik Pandya in a space of four balls and giving his team the hope of potentially restricting India to a total below 200. But Virat Kohli played a highly attractive cameo of 26 runs off 11 balls, his innings comprising three huge sixes over the long-on and midwicket regions, and MS Dhoni chipped in with a massive hit for a six as well, to take India over 200 and finish with 202/3.

203 was by no means an unachievable target, particularly with big-hitters like Colin Munro, Martin Guptill and Colin de Grandhomme in the New Zealand ranks. But the Indian bowlers, led by Ashish Nehra, put the squeeze on the New Zealand opening batsmen, who didn’t get off to the required blazing start. In terms of fielding too, India upstaged their visitors very early on with Hardik Pandya taking a flying catch at the long-off boundary to dismiss Martin Guptill.

Losing Guptill and Munro, who are two of the key batsmen in their team in this format, inside the powerplay (Munro was the second wicket to fall, in the fourth over), didn’t help New Zealand’s cause. And with the lack of big-hitters in the middle order, the Blackcaps were in for a struggle to score more than 10 runs per over. Because of their slow start, the required run rate jumped to 12s and 13s in no time and Kane Williamson and co. were fighting a lost cause.

This was a victory set up by the batting line-up and the bowlers ensured that the good work wasn’t undone, as they were a lot more disciplined with their lines and lengths and used the scoreboard pressure to their advantage.

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