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New Zealand vs India, 2020, 1st T20I- Who Said What

Shreyas Iyer's calm head scripted victory for India with an over to spare.

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KL Rahul & Virat Kohli
KL Rahul & Virat Kohli. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The opening T20I at the Eden Park in Auckland was a witness to a hemorrhage of runs. Both India and New Zealand breached the 200-run mark But, in the end, it was Virat Kohli’s men, who came out trumps by six wickets. Even in 2019, India beat the Kiwis in a T20I at the very venue. For Kane Williamson and Co, the defeat was their eighth out of the last nine T20Is at the Eden Park.                                                                                                                                  

Munro, Kane and Taylor step up

India’s decision to field first backfired on them severely as the home team amassed a mammoth 203 in 20 overs. Colin Munro and Martin Guptill played calculative cricket to notch 68 runs in the powerplay. Shivam Dube gave the visitors a breather, getting rid of Guptill, who threatened with a 19-ball 30. Munro went on to pick up his fifty off 36 balls after which he fell prey to Shardul Thakur.

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Munro scored 59 with four boundaries and as many sixes. Colin de Grandhomme batted at four and perished to Ravindra Jadeja for a duck. From there on Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (54) stepped on the gas. Both went at a strike-rate of around 200 and propelled the Kiwis. For India, Mohammed Shami had a horrendous day as the fast bowler ended up conceding 53 in four overs.

Iyer sees India through

The visiting team got off to a poor start after Mitchell Santner pinned Rohit Sharma in the single-digits. However, KL Rahul (56) and Virat Kohli (45) injected momentum into the innings. The duo added 99 runs off 50 balls to put the Kiwis under pressure. Ish Sodhi separated the ominous-looking duo, nipping out Rahul, who went at a strike-rate in excess of 200 with four fours and three sixes.

Then it was Blair Tickner’s turn to send Kohli packing. Shivam Dube couldn’t survive the heat after finding the boundary twice. Thereafter, Shreyas Iyer showed his class and took the Black Caps’ bowlers to the cleaners. The youngster stayed unbeaten on 58 off 29 with five fours and three colossal sixes. The onslaught helped the Men in Blue chase down the target with an over to spare.

Shreyas Iyer, the Player of the Match, said

We had lost quick wickets, so we had to build partnerships. We always knew we can score runs because this is a small ground. Looking forward to similar support in the remaining games as well.

Virat Kohli, India’s skipper, said

We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic. The crowd was right behind us. We never spoke of the jetlag in the team. We just focused on what we needed to do to win. We were looking forward to doing well. We have done well in T20Is in the last one year. You can’t be harsh on anyone on this sort of a pitch. I thought 230 was on at one point, but we pulled it back nicely.

Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s skipper, said

There are a lot of positives. It is hard to defend here and there was a bit of dew here. To score over 200 on a used wicket was a good effort. Credit to India for the way they played. Taking pace off seemed to be working okay, but it was tough to execute because India put us under pressure constantly. It was nice to build some partnerships. Guys came in and played their roles well.

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