All-round New Zealand beat India by 21 runs in 1st T20I at Ranchi 

Washington Sundar fought long and hard but his efforts were not enough for India on Friday night

New Zealand produced an all-round performance on Friday night at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium in Ranchi to take a vital 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series with an impressive 21-run victory, thus recording their first win on the tour after being outplayed in all departments in the ODI series. The second match of the series will now be played in Lucknow on Sunday, January 29.

After setting a strong total of 176/6 in their 20 overs, New Zealand restricted India to 155/9 despite a fine half-century from Washington Sundar (50) who was the most impressive player for India on the day, as he had earlier bowled an impressive spell in the powerplay to take a couple of wickets to return with the numbers 4-0-22-2.

It was a pitch that favoured spin bowlers the most as India did not have enough in their ranks and had to use the services of Deepak Hooda to get through with the overs. Among the fast bowlers, Hardik Pandya was wicketless for 33 runs in 3 overs, Arshdeep Singh was all over the place with his line and length while giving away 51 runs from his 4 overs for just 1 wicket while Umran Malik was given only 1 over, in which he was hit for 16 runs.

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav was also impressive, returning with 4-0-20-1 while the young right arm fast bowler Shivam Mavi was also expensive, giving away 19 runs for one wicket in his two overs.

On the other hand, New Zealand was smart with the use of their spinners as their captain Mitchell Santner in the company of Michael Bracewell kept a lid on the scoring rate while also took wickets at crucial intervals to peg India back in the contest.

Finn Allen struck a 23 ball 35 at the top with a couple of sixes and four boundaries to provide New Zealand with an early impetus which was taken on by left-handed opening batsman Devon Conway, who scored a fine 52 from 35 balls with 7 boundaries and a six. 

Even though Mark Chapman was all at sea against Washington Sundar, Glenn Phillips (17) steadied from the other end while Daryl Mitchell played a quickfire knock towards the end to power New Zealand to a strong total. 

It was largely due to Daryl Mitchell’s 59 not out from 30 balls studded with 5 sixes and 3 boundaries that New Zealand were able to put up a daunting total on board against India, who did not have any of their top order batsmen barring Suryakumar Yadav who made an effort to put them on track for a win.

The world No 1 batsman Suryakumar Yadav tried hard to change his game on a turning pitch as he made 47 from 24 balls with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes but there was nothing much from the specialist Indian batsmen. Shubman Gill was dismissed for 7 by Mitchell Santner while Michael Bracewell accounted for Ishan Kishan (4). Rahul Tripathi played out 6 balls without scoring a run, and was dismissed by Jacob Duffy.

Indian captain Hardik Pandya scored a 20-ball 21 with a boundary and a six but New Zealand kept striking at regular intervals to force India out of the contest. 

Washington Sundar provided late fireworks and a glimmer of hope with a turnaround, smacking 3 sixes and 5 boundaries to make 50 from just 28 balls but his innings was not enough as the required task was beyond India’s reach.