New Zealand beat India by 21 runs in a T20I match at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi yesterday. Sent in after losing the toss, the Kiwis posted a competitive total of 176/6 thanks to half-centuries from Devon Conway (52 off 35) and Daryl Mitchell (59* off 30). Spinners Mitchell Santner (2/11) and Michael Bracewell (2/31) then bowled to restrict India to 155/9.
New Zealand got off to an impressive start with the bat as Finn Allen (35 off 23) and Conway added 43 for the opening wicket at a brisk pace. Washington Sundar (2/22), however, dismissed both Allen and Mark Chapman (0) in one over to bring India back into the game. Kuldeep Yadav struck another big blow for the hosts, after Glenn Phillips (17) was caught at deep midwicket.
Conway fell just after turning fifty, in a failed attempt to take on Arshdeep Singh. The visitors were 149/6 in the last over. Mitchell then hit Arshdeep for three sixes and four consecutive deliveries – the first ball being a no-ball. A massive 27 runs came from the last over as New Zealand finished on 177/6.
Team India got off to a terrible start in the chase, losing the first three wickets with just 15 runs on the board. Bracewell was cleaned up by Ishan Kishan (4), Rahul Tripathi (0) was caught behind by Jacob Duffy, while Shubman Gill (7) mistimed the first ball from Santner, which came to rest on him, and was caught at front square leg.
Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Hardik Pandya (21) added 68 for the fourth wicket to lift India, but both batsmen fell in quick succession. SKY skipped the catch to wide part as Pandya edged Bracewell and was caught by the bowler. Sundar brought up his maiden T20I 50 off 25 balls to reduce India’s margin of defeat.
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Conway set the platform for New Zealand’s total with a fine half-century while Mitchell finished the innings. The latter hit three fours and five sixes, scoring 196.66.
New Zealand captain Santner was outstanding with the ball. He not only took two important wickets but also kept things extremely tight, conceding just 11 runs in his four overs. Bracewell also impressed, taking the scalps of Kishan and Pandya.
For India, Sundar (2/22 & 50 off 28) had a brilliant all-round performance in a losing cause.
Kiwi batter Mitchell was named man of the match for his scintillating half-century.