World T20: India restrict New Zealand to low total

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Nagpur, March 15 (IANS) A combination of below par batting and quality bowling saw New Zealand restricted to 126/7 in the opening match of the World Twenty20 against India at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.

Electing to bat first after winning the toss in the Super 10 Group 2 clash, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson saw his decision backfire as most of the Kiwi batsmen showed poor application and could not last long on a pitch which had a fair bit of turn.

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.

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The match was off to a rousing start with Martin Guptill hitting Ashwin for a six in the very first ball. Ashwin hit back in the very next ball thanks to a controversial leg before decision by umpire Kumara Dharmasena.

Television later showed that the ball hit Guptill high on the pads and seemed to be drifting down leg.

Incoming batsman Colin Munro also started in explosive fashion, hitting the very next ball into the stands. But too much haste proved to be his undoing in the next over as he stepped out of his crease and tried to smash a Nehra delivery over the fielding circle. But he could not connect properly as the ball hit the top of the bat and Hardik Pandya took an easy catch at mid-off.

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Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson’s efforts to rebuild the innings came to an end when he came down the track to Raina only to miss the ball and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled off an easy stumping.

The Kiwis continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and after Anderson saw his middle stump uprooted while attempting an adventurous shot off Bumrah’s bowling, New Zealand’s chances of producing a big total had gone for a toss.

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