Colin Munro, skipper Kane Williamson, and Ross Taylor smashed quickfire half-centuries as New Zealand made good use of the short boundaries at Eden Park to post 203 for five in the opening T20 against India in Auckland on Friday (January 24).
Munro scored 59 off 42 balls, including six fours and two sixes, while Williamson hit four fours and four sixes in his 26-ball 51-run innings as the Black Caps used the peculiar Eden Park shape to pile on the runs in the first shortest format game.
Taylor too smacked 54 not out off 27 balls as Indian bowlers suffered from the onslaught.
Only Jasprit Bumrah (1-31) put in a good shift with clever change of pace and control. This was after India won the toss and opted to bowl.
The visitors went with a six-bowler configuration including all-rounders Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja.
Yuzvendra Chahal replaced Kuldeep Yadav, while Shardul Thakur was picked ahead of Navdeep Saini. Rishabh Pant was dropped.
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New Zealand quickly got off the blocks with openers Munro and Martin Guptill (30 off 19 balls) putting on 68-0 in the power play. It was the highest power-play score for New Zealand against India in T20Is (previous best 66-0 in 2019).
Shardul Thakur (1-44) and Mohammed Shami (0-53) proved to be expensive in their opening spells. India were forced to use as many as six bowlers in the first eight overs.
Dube (1-24) got the breakthrough with Rohit Sharma catching smartly to dismiss Guptill. It brought Williamson to the crease and the onslaught continued as he put on 36 off 24 balls with Munro.
The latter reached his half-century off 36 balls before holing out off Thakur. India quickly got a second wicket in the space of four balls with Ravindra Jadeja (1-18) dismissing Colin de Grandhomme (0).
New Zealand, at 117-3 in the 13th over, were placed awkwardly but Williamson and Taylor put on 61 off 28 balls to completely decimate the Indian bowling in the second half of their innings.
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Taylor smashed three fours and three sixes, taking 22 runs off Shami in the 16th over, as he raced to a 25-ball half-century. It was his first T20I half-century in six years. Williamson too completed his half-century off 25 balls. Their 50-run partnership had come off just 24 balls before Williamson was dismissed off Chahal (1-32).
Taylor then applied the finishing touches as New Zealand breached 200 in the final over.
Worryingly for India, Bumrah rolled over his left ankle in the 20th over during follow-through and was down in pain. But he recovered sufficiently to deliver the last four deliveries.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill c Rohit b Dube 30 Colin Munro c Chahal b Thakur 59 Kane Williamson c Kohli b Chahal 51 Colin de Grandhomme c Dube b Jadeja 0 Ross Taylor not out 54 Tim Seifert c Iyer b Bumrah 1 Mitchell Santner not out 2
Extras: (LB-1, W-5) 6
Total: (for five wickets in 20 overs) 203
Fall of Wickets: 80-1, 116-2, 117-3, 178-4, 181-5.
Bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-31-1, Shardul Thakur 3-0-44-1, Mohammed Shami 4-0-53-0, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-32-1, Shivam Dube 3-0-24-1, Ravindra Jadeja 2-0-18-1.
(With inputs from agencies)