Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli shone for team India with the bat as they defeated New Zealand in the first Twenty-20 International (T20I) by six wickets at the Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
Chasing 204, Rohit Sharma could not do much but KL Rahul (56 off 27) and Virat Kohli (46 off 32) added 99 runs for the second wicket to set the foundation for a successful chase.
Though Kohli and Rahul went into the pavilion on quick succession and Shivam Dube, coming in at five, failed to have an impact, Iyer and Manish Pandey made sure India complete the target with an over to spare.
The duo made a partnership of 72 runs in 34 balls as the former completed the half-century en route to his 58 off 29 deliveries. Pandey played the secondary role and made 14 in 12 balls.
The Kiwi bowlers failed to have any substantial influence on the match as everyone conceded at more than 9 runs an over. Ish Sodhi was the most successful for 2/36. Mitchell Santner and Blair Tickner contributed with one wicket each.
Earlier, New Zealand batsmen had also made full use of the conditions which were on offer as they posted 203/5 after being asked to bat first by the Indian skipper.
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.