New Zealand beat India by 21 runs in yesterday’s (January 27) T20I match at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. Sent into bat after losing the toss, the Kiwis put up a competitive total of 176/6 on the board courtesy of half-centuries from Devon Conway (52 off 35) and Daryl Mitchell (59* off 30). Spinners Mitchell Santner (2/11) and Michael Bracewell (2/31) then starred with the ball to restrict India to 155/9.
New Zealand got off to an impressive start with the bat as Finn Allen (35 off 23) and Conway added 43 for the opening wicket at a swift pace. Washington Sundar (2/22), however, dismissed both Allen and Mark Chapman (0) in one over to bring India back into the game. Kuldeep Yadav struck another big blow for the hosts, having Glenn Phillips (17) caught at deep midwicket.
Conway fell immediately after reaching his fifty, in a failed attempt to take on Arshdeep Singh. The visitors were 149/6 heading into the last over. Mitchell then clobbered Arshdeep for three sixes and a four off consecutive deliveries – the first ball being a no-ball. A massive 27 runs came off the last over as New Zealand finished on 177/6.
Team India got off to a horrific start in the chase, losing their first three wickets with only 15 runs on the board. Ishan Kishan (four) was cleaned up by Bracewell, Rahul Tripathi (0) was caught behind off Jacob Duffy, while Shubman Gill (seven) miscued the first ball from Santner that stopped on him and was caught at forward square leg.
Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Hardik Pandya (21) added 68 for the fourth wicket to lift India, but both batters fell in quick succession. The former chipped a catch to wide long-on, while Pandya top-edged Bracewell and was caught by the bowler. Sundar notched up his maiden T20I fifty off 25 balls to bring down the margin of India’s defeat.
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Conway laid the platform for New Zealand’s total with a fine half-century, while Mitchell put the finishing touches to the innings. The latter slammed three fours and five sixes, scoring at a strike rate of 196.66.
On the bowling front, New Zealand skipper Santner was outstanding. Not only did he claim two important wickets, but kept things extremely tight, conceding only 11 runs in his four overs. Bracewell also impressed, getting the scalps of Kishan and Pandya.
For India, Sundar (2/22 and 50 off 28) had a brilliant all-round game, albeit in a losing cause.
Kiwi batter Mitchell was named Player of the Match for his blazing half-century.