A rare blend of belligerence, bravado and bravura paved the way for New Zealand to etch an ecstatic 80 run triumph against India in the first of the three T-20 match at Wellington on Wednesday.
What a splendid compensation by the Kiwis for their supporters who were in a state of deep anguish for the dismal show so far in the exchanges with the formidable Indian team.
It was New Zealand all the way from the first ball to the final delivery. They batted superbly profiting from the tone and tenor set by Munro and Seifert maintained healthy run rate at 10+.
Nothing exemplified the home team’s aggression than the fact that the score sheet showed a record of fourteen 4s and thirteen 6s. Seifert was the best among the batsmen with his 84 runs in 43 balls with seven 4s and six 6s. He baffled the Indian bowlers with shots to all parts of the ground.
Skipper Williamson displayed his class with a score of 34 in 22 balls and helped the team compile a huge total of 219 runs for six wickets.
It was a very mediocre day for India which was found wanting in every aspect. The bowing, both pace and spin was erratic and its fielding was below par. Kartick dropped two of the three catches that came to him though the one he took was brilliant on the edge of the long boundary. Neither the pace nor the spin disturbed the mood of the rival batsmen who converted the contest into a carnival.
The target of 220 for a win was a huge challenge for India for whom the highest was 211 against Sri Lanka. But the indications for India were ominous even the early minutes when skipper Rohit Sharma perished in the second over of the match. Shikar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar maintained a brisk pace but a superbly angled yorker by Ferguson shattered his stumps. Vijay Shankar played a few well timed strokes but his partner Pant was pathetic with his timing. He did not last log castled by the spinner Santner.
Veteran Dhoni held the attention although it was clear that the defeat was starring in the face.
The fall of Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya confirmed that the match was slipping away although Dhoni caught the attention with a few attacking shots with Krunal Pandya for company. But the inevitable defeat came shortly after Dhoni left the scene for 39 runs.there was nothing to relish for India in the match. The Kiwis were in absolute command in every aspect.
There was nothing to relish for India in the mach. The Kiwis were in total command in every layer. It goes without saying that the team needs to rework its approach and strategy when the teams come to grips in the second match on February 8.
“ Fantastic performance all around, Every one rose and it was one of those complete performances that you search,” was the reaction of Kane Williamson, the Kiwi skipper.
“ It was a tough game We were outplayed in all three departments.We did not start well, and we knew that 200 was not going to be easy. We believe that whatever the target in front of us we can chase it down but we just could’t do it tonight”
Wicket keeper Tim Seibert was the man of the match.