Kiwis outwit Indians in 1st twenty20
Overcoming all speculation of Indian dominance in the shorter version of cricket, New Zealand today (February 25) scored a seven-wicket victory over India in the first of two Twenty20 matches at the AMI Stadium, Christchurch.
Chasing a reasonable total of 162 in this high intensity game, the Kiwi wicketkeeper batsman Brendon McCullum (56* off 49) together with opener Mark Guptill (41 off 21 balls) powered the Kiwis to 166 for 3.
Although India was able to send away opener JD Ryder in the very second over of the match, a couple of strategic approach by the Kiwi batsmen, including Ross Taylor (31 off 20 balls) and Jacob Oram (29 off 15 balls) gave them their needed advantage.
Ross Taylor gave a hand to McCullum and added 50 runs for the third wicket, while Oram too combined with McCullum reached the target with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, batting first, Indian opener Virender Sehwag (26 off 10 balls) displayed a foretaste of his talent by hitting three sixes in the first three balls. Gautam Gambhir (6 off 7 balls) was the first wicket to go when the score was just 25 at the end of second over.
Despite a good start, India could not sustain the initial run rate and kept losing wickets at regular interval. Middle-order bat Suresh Raina top scored for India with an unbeaten 61, while Yusuf Pathan (20 off 8 balls) and Harbhajan Singh’s 21 off 22 balls help India to set a total of 162/8.
Kiwi pacer Butler and Iain O'Brien snared two wickets each along with skipper Daniel Vettori, who claimed one wicket to put a break to Indian run score in the middle. On the whole, Vettori’s game plan, especially taking up bowling after winning the toss paid off.
Even though the toss wasn’t a bad one for India considering the batting strength, the middle order batsmen couldn’t deliver the needed leap. India needs to take a hard look at its batting ahead of the second Twenty20 international, scheduled for Friday.
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