As expected, Eden Park witnessed a high-scoring game between New Zealand and India in the first T20I as the visitors chased down 204 with six wickets in hand and an over to spare.
They take a 1-0 lead into the second match at the same venue on Sunday.
The Kiwis went blazing with the bat to score 203/5. Fifties from Colin Munro (59 off 42 balls), Kane Williamson (51 off 26) and Mark Taylor (54 off 27) were enough to take them over 200. However, they struggled with the ball and were unable to be penetrative enough.
Only Ish Sodhi covered himself in glory with a two-wicket return, but otherwise it was a tough evening for the Kiwis. However, with this venue such a tough one to defend totals, the hosts wouldn’t be hitting themselves hard for leaking runs.
India were poor in the field – not the usual energy and perfection, as they fluffed catches and went overboard with overthrows. Regardless, the batting withstood the pressure, as the top-order led the chase. KL Rahul scored a solid 56, but it was Shreyas Iyer (58* off 29) who stole the show.
The experiments are expected to continue through the season, as India eye the big prize of T20 World Cup. Captain Virat Kohli will be happy with how his hard-hitting all-rounder Shivam Dube fared.
India continued their romance with chasing, easily scaling the excellent target put forth by New Zealand. The Kiwis will look to do the small things right – dropping Rahul and Kohli in the chase pushed them back. If they can manage to put together a concentrated effort, the Kiwis might have a chance to storm back into the series. The team composition could be under focus, as the hosts will hope to build towards the T20 World Cup. All in all, expect another run feast in the picturesque Eden Park.
History & Statistics
- New Zealand have won four of their six T20Is played at home against India.
- Eight of New Zealand’s last 11 T20Is have been won by the team batting first.
- New Zealand have lost seven of their last nine T20Is at Auckland, winning one and tying the other.
- Seven of the last 11 T20Is at this venue have seen the team batting first win.
- India have won seven of their last eight completed T20Is.
- India have won 14 of their last 18 completed overseas T20Is.
Munro has to be one of the best players this format has seen. Three T20I centuries already and he will look to add value to this side.
Shreyas Iyer has been knocking on the doors of the Indian white-ball formats side for quite some time. Now that he got his chance, Iyer is impressing every one with his range of strokes and matured thinking.