Team India has swiftly emerged victorious in the first game of the 5-match T20 series against New Zealand today. Two destructive knocks from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer saw Virat Kohli and his squad chase down the target comfortably with 6 wickets remaining at the Eden Park Stadium.
Winning the toss, captain Kohli elected to field first, as the Black Caps made an impressive total of 203 for 5 wickets in the first innings. However, a confident Team India, who showcased brilliant performance in the recent 2-1 ODI series win over Australia, reached the target score by the 19th over.
New Zealand opener Colin Munro started off with a blazing 59-off-42, with six fours and two sixes, until Shardul Thakur got his wicket in the 12th over. His partner Martin Guptill was dismissed on 30 by Shivam Dube, the talented all rounder from Mumbai who made his internal debut against Bangladesh back in November.
The skipper Kane Williamson put up a stormy 51 runs from 26 balls, including four boundaries and equal number of over boundaries, but fell victim to Yuzvendra Chahal. The Kiwis’ veteran Batsman Ross Taylor finished off with a stormy 27-ball-54 with 3 fours and 3 sixes. Jadeja and Bumrah both secured one wicket each.
While the Men in Blues’s superstar opener Rohit Sharma disappointed, losing his wicket to Mitchell Santner on just 7 runs, it was KL Rahul who sped up India’s chase. The newfound wicket keeper put up a swashbuckling score of 56 from 27 balls, thanks to four boundaries and three over boundaries.
Coming in after Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli fell short of just 5 runs from his 25th T20I half century. However, it was Shreyas Iyer, who went destructive against the New Zealand bowling squad, keeping his strike with 58 runs from 29 balls, with five fours and three sixes. This was the second T20I 50 for the 25 year old. Manish Pandey provided the finishing touches as India secured the win with 6 balls left.
The Indian origin Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi secured two wickets. The Ludhiana-born New Zealand international picked up the wickets of KL Rahul and Shivam Dube.
The second T20 match is on this Sunday at the Eden Park Stadium.