India cricket team achieved a convincing 53-run victory over New Zealand -- their first ever T20I win against the Black Caps, at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi, on Wednesday November 1. Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra expected a great result in his final international cricket match, and that's the way it panned out.
The farewell was fitting! Shreyas Iyer, who earned his maiden international cap, also couldn't have asked for a better start.
India now lead 1-0 in the three-match T20I series.
2nd innings: NEW ZEALAND batting
Man of the moment Ashish Nehra was given the orders to start proceedings. The 38-year-old didn't get a wicket, but he didn't also enjoy a very bad spell as he gave away 28 runs from four overs.
An early damage was caused after Martin Guptill was dismissed by Yuzi Chahal. Hardik Pandya took the catch after a wonderful dive and deservedly, took away all the spotlight. Pandya's night had just begun. He might have scored a duck with the bat, but he covered that unfortune in the second innings of the match.
Pandya, among the world's best all-rounders at the moment, took the wicket of Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson later in the match and that remained the critical moment which led to New Zealand's downfall.
Axar Patel emulated Ish Sodhi by taking the wickets of Tom Bruce and De Grandhomme within three balls.
With five overs remaining and a mammoth run chase to make, the Black Caps dived into an ocean of pressure and as expected, faltered. The wickets kept falling and it was only a matter of time until their damage finally came to an end.
Mitchell Santner tried performing some kind of a miracle in the end when he hit two back-to-back sixes off Jaspit Bumrah, in the penultimate over. Nehra came in at the last over and gave away just five runs.
His last over in a cricket match...and a victory deserving of million memories!
1st innings: INDIA batting
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started the proceedings and MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli stayed on the crease until the end. If reaching the 200-run mark was one of the biggest expectations of Team India from the match, they did so with elan.
Both Rohit and Shikhar got their half centuries after raining sixes and boundaries respectively at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. While the former got dismissed after scoring 80 runs off 55 balls, the latter got out scoring 80 runs from 52 balls.
Leg break bowler Ish Sodhi wreaked havoc in the 17th over, taking two big wickets -- first of Shikhar and then dismissing Hardik Pandya for a duck. New Zealand wicket-keeper Tom Latham played a big role in both the dismissals.
Kohli and Dhoni, meanwhile, got off the mark in similar fashion, scoring massive sixes. While Kohli remained unbeaten at 26 runs, Dhoni remained unbeaten at 7 runs.
The Black Caps only could boast of that one sensational over from Sodhi. Nothing else went their way. Even worse than their bowling, the fielding remained shocking. Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Martin Guptill dropped catches that could have taken out Shikhar, Rohit and Kohli, in that order.
Kane Williamson won the toss
New Zealand cricket team have won the toss at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi, and have opted to ball against India.
"Quite a bit of dew around, and expecting a bit more," says New Zealand cricket team captain Kane Williamson after winning the toss.
38-year-old in his last match, 22-year-old in his first match
Ashish Nehra, as was expected, has made it to the starting lineup for Team India. The veteran pacer plays cricket -- both international and domestic -- for the last time on Wednesday November 1.
Shreyas Iyer, too, has received his first-ever international cap for the India cricket senior team. An old guard featuring for the final time and a highly-rated upcoming cricket star making his debut, makes a fantastic affair.
The hosts are looking for their first Twenty-20 win over the Black Caps, currently the numero uno T20 team in the world.
INDIA XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni (W), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
NEW ZEALAND XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Tom Bruce, Tom Latham (W), Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi