Jaipur: India beat New Zealand by 7 wickets in the first T20I at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday to go one up in the three-match series. Suryakumar Yadav top-scored for India while batting at Number 3 in the absence of former T20I skipper Virat Kohli. Yadav scored 62 runs in 40 balls and added 59 runs with skipper Rohit Sharma for the second wicket.
Rohit fell two-run short of his 25th fifty in the format. The India skipper also added 50 runs with KL Rahul for the first wicket that set the early tone for Team India in the chase of 165 runs. In the last four overs, New Zealand bowlers made a good comeback and India needed 10 runs in the final over. However, Rishabh Pant smashed a boundary on the fourth ball off the final over to put India 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Earlier, batting first, New Zealand were off to a bad start as they lost the wicket of Daryl Mitchell in the first over. An outstanding in-swinger from Bhuvneshwar Kumar found the gap between Mitchell's bat and pad before crashing into the stumps.
The wicket brought Mark Chapman to middle and he along with Martin Guptill revived the New Zealand's innings. The duo punished the bad deliveries to keep the scoreboard ticking, taking Kiwis to 41/1 at the end of the power play.
Both batters efficiently rotated the strike and didn't go for big hits between 6 to 10 overs. On the other hand, Indian bowlers struggled to find a breakthrough and conceded few occasional boundaries, as New Zealand reached 65/1 at the halfway mark of the innings.
With ten overs to go, Guptill shifted gears and targeted Mohammed Siraj, scoring 16 runs in his over. In the next over, Chapman scored his impressive half-century by slamming Axar Patel's full-toss for a huge six over deep square. Deepak Chahar was hit for 10 runs as Chapman and Guptill brought their 100-run partnership, taking Black Caps to 106/1 after 13 overs.
However, the quick wickets did very little to deter Guptill as he kept on playing his lofted shots and scored his 19th T20I fifty, first against the Men in Blue in the shortest format. His partner on the other side, Tim Seifert was dropped on 7 by Axar Patel in the over bowled by Bhuvneshwar.
With Guptill set, Black Caps were eyeing a big total but Chahar dismissed the attacking opener in the 18th over. Guptill mistimed his shot while trying to go over mid-wicket as Shreyas Iyer came running in and took a good low catch.
From there, Indian bowlers didn't give any freebies to Tim Seifert (12) and Rachin Ravindra (7) and Mitchell Santner (4) and pulled things back in the death overs as New posted 164-6 in 20 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/24) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2/23) were the main wicket-takers for India.
Brief scores; New Zealand: 164/6 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 70, Mark Chapman 63; Ravichandran Ashwin (2/23) lost to India 166/5 in 19.4 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 62, Rohit Sharma 48; Trent Boult (2/31)