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India pull off nail-biter, win by 5 wickets against NZ in first T20I

India pull off nail-biter, win by 5 wickets against NZ in first T20I

Jaipur, Nov 17 (UNI) Team India produced a nerve-racking win to clinch first of the three-match bilateral T20I series against New Zealand, powered by a spectacular five-wicket victory on Wednesday night here at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, thanks to splendid performances from Suryakumar Yadav (62) and Rohit Sharma (48).
Until Captain Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar were at the crease, India looked poised to easily go past the 165 runs target set by New Zealand. Once Rohit departed, Suryakumar and Shreyas Iyer (5) left in quick succession, leaving India 155 for 4 in 19 runs.
Needing 10 runs from 6 balls, Daryl Mitchell bowled a wide ball to debutant Venkatesh Iyer who tried to drive but missed, which left India needing 9 from 5 balls. Next ball, Venkatesh (4) picked up the 127kms length ball from around off-stump and hammered it into the deep mid-wicket fence, leaving India needing 5 runs from 5 balls.
The debutant, however, fell to Daryl the next ball out caught by Rachin Ravindra after he cheekily attempted a reverse slap against a full and wide delivery, which ended up dragging it straight to short third off the toe-end.
Daryl's third ball to new batsman Axar Patel was called wide by umpire Virender Sharma. The next extra ball bowled to Axar fetched India one more run, reducing the gap to 5 runs from 4 balls.
The next ball Axar chopped Daryl wide of backward point for a quick single. Needing 4 runs in 3 balls, Rishabh Pant waltzed down the pitch and picked up the slower length delivery from outside off and pumped it over Tim Southee at mid-off for a boundary to take India 1-0 up in the 3-match series.
Chasing 165 runs target, Indian openers started off well, building a 50-run partnership for the first wicket. After KL Rahul Rahul's departure, Rohit and Suryakumar showed character and depth to deliver a strong stand of 59 runs for the second wicket and seal the match.
Rahul (15) was the first to be dismissed when Mitchell Santner had forced him with a half-tracker that forced the Indian opener to hit it, but he found Mark Chapman stationed at deep square leg.
Rohit (48), an innings studded with 5 boundaries and 2 sixes, weathered the storm in the company of Suryakumar with a 59-run stand for the second wicket. But New Zealand struck to dismiss the former, leaving India at 109 for 2 in the 14th over.
Suryakumar tried weathering the storm in the company of Rishabh Pant with a 35-run stand for the third wicket. But he was unfortunate to have been dismissed at 62, leaving India at 114 for 3 in the 17th over.
For New Zealand, Trent Boult claimed wickets and one wicket each by Southee Santner and Daryl.
Earlier in a special display of batsmanship, Martin Guptill (70) and Mark Chapman (63) scored quick-fire half centuries, to fire New Zealand to 164 for 6.
The Kiwis kept finding the boundary ropes with Chapman looking to lead the show after losing the first wicket. In the sixth over, Chapman took Deepak Chahar to cleaners as he crunched two boundaries and a six in the sixth over, making his intentions clear.
Between 11 and 13 overs, New Zealand crunched 40 plus runs with Guptill and Chapman hammering Chahar and Mohammad Siraj, in their respective overs. The Indian bowlers looked clueless as they failed to rein in the New Zealand batsmen.
Put into bat, it was Bhuvaneshwar who provided India with the first breakthrough with his very first ball when he cleaned up Daryl with an inswinger.
After Daryl's departure, Chapman led the rebuild by spanking boundaries. He put on 109 runs for the second wicket with Guptill. Both the batsmen took the Indian bowlers to the task as they scored boundaries at will.
Soon, New Zealand reached 110 before Chapman was sent packing by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 14th over. The left-hander scored 63 off 50 balls and his power-packed innings was studded with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Glenn Philips, who came in next, didn't trouble the scorers as he was sent home by Ashwin in just his third ball of his fourth over.
However, those two quick wickets didn't deter Guptill who smacked three sixes and stitched a crucial 40 runs for fourth wicket with Tim Seifert and took the Black Caps' total to 150 for 4, before the opener was dismissed by Chahar caught by Shreyas Iyer.
Tim Seifert (12), who was dropped by Axar Patel, and Rachin Ravindra (7) did not last long as they fell to Bhubaneswar and Siraj, trying to up the ante in the death.
Ashwin and Bhuvaneshwar bagged two wickets each, while Siraj and Chahar picked one each.
UNI BDN GK

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