New Zealand batsmen made full use of the conditions which were on offer as they set India a commendable target of 204 in the first Twenty-20 International (T20I) at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
Martin Guptill and Colin Munro gave the Blackcaps a solid start as they added 80 runs for the first wicket in less than eight overs. The former departed after playing 19-ball knock of 30 runs, while Munro was joined by captain Kane Williamson.
Williamson, who was playing his first T20I in almost a year, was in sublime touch. He smashed four sixes and four boundaries on his way to 51 off 26 deliveries. However, Munro was dismissed for 59 by Yuzvendra Chahal, while Ravindra Jadeja sent Colin de Grandhomme packing in the next over to reduce the home team to 117/3.
Williamson and Ross Taylor then added 61 runs for the fourth wicket in 28 deliveries. The Blackcaps skipper could not last long after completing his 10th international half-century but Taylor continued with his onslaught to score his first T20I half-century since 2014. The 35-year-old scored 54 off 27 deliveries to help the hosts complete their innings at 203/5.
Jasprit Bumrah was again the star of the pack for the Indian bowling unit as he picked 1/31 and was the best economical bowler. Other pacers Shardul Thakur (1/44) and Mohammed Shami (0/53) had a poor outing as they conceded more than 13 runs per over in their seven overs.
Spinners Chahal and Jadeja provided some resistance in New Zealand’s free-flow scoring as they contributed with a wicket each. While Jadeja returned with 1/18 in his two overs, Chahal took 1/32 in four overs. Shivam Dube got one wicket as well for 24 runs.
Earlier on the day, India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday won the toss and opted to bowl in the first T20I of the five-match series. For India, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar and Rishabh Pant are not playing, whereas New Zealand kept Daryl Mitchell and Scott Kuggeleijn on the bench.