Nagpur, March 15 (IANS) New Zealand defeated India by 47 runs in the opening match of the World Twenty20 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.
The Kiwis, who have never lost to India in the shortest version of the game, thus maintained their perfect record.
Chasing a modest 127-run target on a spin-friendly track, the Indian batsmen never really got into the groove and could only manage to crawl their way to 79 before being all out.
In-form batsman Virat Kohli (23) and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (30) fought bravely as wickets fell at the other end, but could not rescue the hosts.
Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner claimed a four-wicket haul for New Zealand with superb figures of 4/11 in his four overs. This was the best figures by a spinner against India in the 20-over format.
Indian origin leg-spinner Inderbir Singh Sodhi also tormented the Indian batsmen for figures of 3/18 while Nathan McCullum (2/15) and fast bowler Adam Milne (1/8) also bowled well.
India lost nine wickets to spinners, which equalled the T20 record.
Earlier, a combination of below par batting and quality bowling saw New Zealand restricted to a low total of 126/7 in their 20 overs.
All-rounder Corey Anderson was the only Kiwi batsman who managed to tackle the Indian bowling with a patient 34 off 42 deliveries.
Among the Indian bowlers, veteran pacer Ashish Nehra (1/6) continued his recent good form with another economical performance, while Jasprit Bumrah (1/15), Suresh Raina (1/15), Ravindra Jadeja (1/18) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/32) were also among the wickets.