India on Friday defeated New Zealand by six wickets in the first T20 International match of the series. India achieved the target of 203 runs with one over to spare.
Batting first at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand amassed a total of 2o03 runs in 20 overs at the loss of five wickets. Colin Munro and Kane Williamson made 59 and 51 runs respectively. Ross Taylor remained unbeaten at 54.
As for India, with the exception of Mohammad Shami, every bowler took one wicket each.
India’s response was electric even though they lost Rohit Sharma very early in their innings. KL Rahul made 56, while captain Virat Kohli was unlucky to get out five short of his half-century. Thanks to Shreyas Iyer’s unbeaten 58, India were able to cruise past the New Zealand’s total with six balls to spare.
Iyer was adjudged Man Of The Match.
Reacting to his team’s win, Kohli said, “We enjoyed it. Just landing two days ago and playing a game like this sets it up for the whole tour. We had great support. We had 80% of India fans here and the atmosphere was great. You need that in a 200-plus chase, they help us go further, be braver. We never spoke of jet lag. We don’t want to use as an excuse. If we focus on things that aren’t important then you’re taking attention away. We had a really good series against Australia and we took that confidence in here. You can’t be harsh on anyone on this kind of pitch. I think we did well in the middle overs, to restrict them under 210 was a good effort. I think fielding is one thing that we can improve on, just getting used to the ground dimensions and the ball snaking a bit.”
Williamson said, “A lot of positives out there. We know coming to Eden Park it’s hard to defend and there was a bit of dew and obviously India showed their class. We knew batting first we had to get a good total on the board. Being a second-used surface, it was a high scoring game. But with ball in hand, if we could get three or four early, we could have got ahead of the game. We sort of had five bowlers and Colin and I guess with the slower bowlers, in terms of the track, it was hard being such a good pitch. They kept putting us under pressure and we found ourselves defending for most of the second half. We have to recover there. It’s always important at this ground that when you start you go on.”
India have chased 200 plus target in T20 International matches on four occasions, the most by any teams. Australia have achieved this feat on two occasions.