Shreyas Iyer, along with Manish Pandey, got the better of the New Zealand bowlers in the end to guide India to a crucial 6-wicket win, with an over to spare, in the first T20 international in Auckland on Friday, 24 January.
Iyer, who is gradually making the number four spot his own, was unbeaten on 58 off 29 balls along will Manish Pandey, who was 14 not out.
Earlier, chasing 204 for victory, in-form KL Rahul (58) and Virat Kohli (45) put up a 99-run after Rohit Sharma (7) was dismissed in the second over of the chase.
New Zealand Innings
Virat Kohli had won the toss and asked the Kiwis to bat first. Colin Munro and Martin Guptill made the most of the opportunity by smashing 80 runs in just the first 7.4 overs.
It took a brilliant catch by Rohit Sharma on the boundary line to send back Guptill(30) but Munro then had his skipper Kane Williamson for company as he raced to his half century in just 36 balls.
Shardul Thakur struck in the 12th over to finally pack off Munro and Colin de Grandhomme was caught off Jadeja on the second ball he faced as India made two quick breakthroughs.
Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson however then stemmed the fall of wickets and added 61 runs for the 4th wicket with the skipper reaching a personal milestone, his 10th T20I half century. Ross Taylor too got to his half century– his first in 6 years – in the final over of the innings.
Bumrah and Mohammad Shami stemmed the flow of runs at the end of the innings as 4 came off the 18th over, 9 off the 19th and 12 off the 20th. There was a little scare in the final over as well with Bumrah going down after he looked to have twisted his angle. The pacer however received medical treatment and continued to his bowling to finish off the over.
India Won the Toss
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first in the series-opener at the Eden Park in Auckland.
Among the players he isn't playing here is Rishabh Pant with the team electing to go with KL Rahul as the keeper in this series as well.
New Zealand are playing Hamish Bennett with the spinner making his T20I debut at the age of 32.
"It was a 50-50 decision (to bat or bowl) with the track being used. We would want to get some runs on the board first and then defend it," said New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett
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