Auckland, Jan 24 (IANS) New Zealand started with a flourish, but the Indian bowlers — led by Jasprit Bumrah (1/31) — came back strongly at Eden Park on Friday to restrict the Kiwis to 203/5 in their 20 overs in the first T20I of the five-game series.
Colin Munro (59) was the star of the show for the hosts at the top, but he was well supported by skipper Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (54*).
Put into bat, New Zealand had a great start as opener Munro and Martin Guptill put on a 80-run stand for the first wicket. Both the batsmen took the Indian bowlers to the task as they scored boundaries at will.
It was all-rounder Shivam Dube who provided India with the first breakthrough when Rohit Sharma took a brilliant catch on the boundary to dismiss Guptill who scored 30 off 19 balls.
Skipper Williamson then joined forces with Munro and took the New Zealand score to 116 before the left-handed opener was sent packing by Shardul Thakur in the 12th over. Munro scored 59 off just 42 balls and his power-packed innings was studded with 6 fours and 2 sixes.
Colin de Grandhomme, who came in next, didn’t trouble the scorers as he was sent home by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in just his second ball of the spell. However, those two quick wickets didn’t deter the hosts as Taylor and Williamson stitched a 61-run partnership and took the Black Caps’ total to 178 before the skipper was dismissed by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
The small ground ensured that the Kiwis kept finding the boundary ropes with Taylor looking to lead the show in the death overs for the home side. While Bumrah did look his brilliant self and gave away just four runs from the 18th over and picked the wicket of Tim Seifert, Taylor looked to take Mohammed Shami to task in the 19th as he started with a boundary. But the senior pro came back strongly and gave away just 9 runs from the over.
Bumrah twisting his ankle in the last over meant that he didn’t look his usual self and gave away 12 runs as New Zealand had Taylor remaining unbeaten on 54 with a strike rate of over 200.
Brief Scores: New Zealand: 203/5 (Munro 59, Taylor 54*, Williamson 51) vs India