Virat Kohli-led team India finally managed to break the jinx as they defeated New Zealand by 53 runs in the first T20I played at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on November 1. After six face-offs in last 10 years, the men in blue defeated the Kiwis in the quickest format of the cricket. Moreover, the most experienced Indian player, Ashish Nehra had a perfect parting gift in his last international match. With this victory, team India is now leading the series by 1-0 with two more matches to be played in Rajkot and Trivandrum on November 4th and 7th respectively.
Earlier today, Virat Kohli lost the toss and had to bat first. Veteran bowler Ashish Nehra was included in the playing XI and youngster Shreyas Iyer made his debut. However, the Indian openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma – set the entire stage on fire. Their 158-run opening partnership not only turned out to be the best opening stand for India in T20Is but also is the 3rd best in the world. With both the openers scoring half-centuries and later, Kohli and MS Dhoni showcasing some power hitting in the final over, India posted 202 runs on the board after losing 3 wickets.
In return, the Kiwis trembled right from the beginning while chasing a mammoth total of 203 runs. In the second over, Hardik Pandya took a stunning dive catch to remove Martin Guptill (4) who looked bit dangerous initially. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal got the first breakthrough while the Kiwis lost the plot and looked completely struggling in front of the Indian bowling attack.
Colin Munro was the next man who lost his wicket in the 4th over after scoring just 7 runs off 8 balls. A yorker by Bhuvneshwar Kumar bamboozled the Kiwi opener and he had to return pavilion. Skipper Kane Williamson and Tom Latham tried to save the inning and played some good shots. However, their 32-runs partnership soon came to an end after he was caught behind by MS Dhoni on a delivery by Hardik Pandya. Williamson ended up scoring 28 off 24 balls including a six and a four.
Tom Latham continued his good form and hit 3 big sixes and a four. He looked bit dangerous and could have turned the game upside down. At the same time, he lacked support from the other end. Tom Bruce (10), Colin de Grandhomme (0) and Henry Nicholls (6) couldn’t spend much time at the crease and went back to the dressing room one after another.
Later in the 16th over, a flighted delivery from Chahal tempted him to move down the line where he missed the ball and MS Dhoni did no mistake to stump him out. Latham was out for 39.
After Latham’s dismissal, the Kiwis were reduced to 99/7 and were only trying to finish the game without being all-out.
Ashish Nehra bowled the last over of the match and his career as well while the entire crowd in the stadium cheered for him. He conceded 7 runs in the last over. India won the game by 53 runs and for the first time they defeated New Zealand in T20Is.
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