Team India's all-round show ended their winless streak against The Black Caps in T20Is. Vintage Ashish Nehra, got a winning send-off as the hosts went 1-0 up after getting the better of the Kiwis by 53 runs. The cricketing world bids goodbye to Nehraji, who will always be remembered for his sensational six-wicket haul against England in 2003 World Cup.
The only positive, which happened for New Zealand in Delhi on the 1st of November was winning the toss. Apart from that, it was India's day as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave the hosts a steady start after being asked to bat first. Initially, both the openers looked a bit watchful scoring 46 runs in the power-play. The pair together put up the highest ever T20I opening partnership for India and third overall in T20Is.
The 158-run stand set the tone for the hosts. The openers were dealing in fours and sixes at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium until Ish Sodhi broke the mammoth stand by getting rid of a well-set Dhawan (80). The decision of sending Hardik Pandya (0) up the order didn't reap any rewards as Sodhi bagged yet another scalp in the same over. Rohit (80) added a couple of boundaries to his name before New Zealand got him out through a review after the umpires ruled it not-out while checking the decision with the third umpire.
Captain, Kohli (26*) ensured the sudden fall of wickets didn't hamper India's scoring-rate. His useful cameo along MS Dhoni's maximum in the final over helped India a post a gigantic 202 on the board. The major highlight of the first innings were the twin 80s from Rohit and Dhawan that set the tone for the hosts.
In reply to India's assault, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro took their guard in the middle. Guptill (4) returned back to the hut early after Hardik flew like a bird to take a stunner. Munro (7) also rushed to the dugout after being cleaned up by Bhuvi's unplayable yorker. In no time the visitors were 18 for 2, courtesy India's spiritful bowling.
Kane Williamson and Tom Latham initiated the rebuilding work. Virat and Co. didn't allow this pair to break free as both the batsmen went into the shell with runs coming at a snail's pace. Hardik ended Williamson's (28) struggle by giving the visitors yet another setback. Axar Patel weaved his magic as Tom Bruce and Colin de Grandhomme (0) fell into his trap in the same over. Kohli's direct hit caused more misery for the Kiwis as Henry Nicholls (6) departed after being run-out.
Dhoni’s lighting fast stumping off Chahal’s bowling got the better of Tom Latham (39) who had another decent outing in the middle. Santner (27*) struck a few blows that helped New Zealand reduce the margin of defeat. Nehraji bowled the final over of the game as he received a standing ovation from the spectators in his one last game.
Both the teams now head to Rajkot, where they play the 2nd T20I on Saturday, 4th Nov. India will look to continue their fine show & seal the series against the Kiwis.