The 1st match of the T20 series between India and New Zealand is done and done, and its India who emerged victorious in high scoring run chase at the Eden Park in Auckland. Indian team chased down the massive target of 204 runs in just 19 overs thanks to the half centuries from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. India didn’t started off well as they lost Rohit Sharma in the second over of the innings. Rohit fell to Mitchell Santner on 7 runs while trying to play a slog sweep over mid-wicket. Indian skipper Virat Kohli later joined KL Rahul and added 99 runs for the second wicket in just 50 balls. KL Rahul carried his brilliant form and smashed 56 runs off 27 balls with a strike rate of 207.40. But it was the knock from young Shreyas Iyer, who made 58 not out and sealed the victory for Team India.
Virat Kohli after winning the awaited toss decided to bowl first on flat batting surface. New Zealand were off to a flyer as both openers added 80 runs for the first wicket in 7.5 overs. Shivam Dube got the first breakthrough for India as he departed Martin Guptill on 30 runs. Meanwhile, Colin Munro smashed a fifty and got out on 59 runs. Soon after Munro, Colin de Grandhomme departed without troubling the scoreboard. However, fifties from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor helped Kiwis to get past 200 run mark.
The pitch and the dimensions at the Eden Park are usually batting friendly, and hence Indian bowlers were smashed all around the park. Jasprit Bumrah was the standout bowler for India, he gave 31 runs in 4 overs and took one wicket. Apart from him, every Indian bowler leaked runs and struggled to get right line and length.
The Kiwi bowlers also found it hard to have a go at the batsmen. However, there were some tricky situations for India in the middle when they were 4 wickets down on 142. But Shreyas Iyer along with Manish Pandey held the nerve and helped India to take 1-0 lead in the 5 match series. Iyer was awarded as the man of the match for his brilliant 58 not out.
The 2nd match of the series will be played on the same venue on Sunday, January 26. New Zealand would be looking to go hard at the visitors in the next match.