IND vs NZ: Mitchell Santner-led Kiwis beat India to draw first blood in T20I series

New Zealand take the lead (1-0) in the three-match T20I series in Ranchi.

New Zealand Team
New Zealand Team (Photo Source: ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Ankit Mishra
Ankit Mishra

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The Hardik Pandya-led team India endured a loss by 21 runs to New Zealand in the first of the three-match T20I series at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi on January 27. The hosts were riding high on the back of an impressive clean sweep 3-0 in the ODIs, however, the visitors bounced back with a win in the first T20I in Ranchi. 

India skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to field first in the clash between the heavyweights. What followed was Kiwi opener Finn Allen taking matters into his own hands and swiftly hit the ground running without wasting much time.

In the hopes to dismiss Finn Allen who seemed to be in aggressive form, Hardik introduced all-rounder Washington Sundar, who sent the former packing for 35 runs off 23 balls and also took a stunning catch, lunging to his right to dismiss Mark Chapman for a naught in the same over. 

Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips stitched a vital 60-run partnership and a spectacular half-century from Daryl Mitchell propelled the side to attain a respectable total of 176 runs for the loss of six wickets in the 20 overs. Sundar was the only Indian bowler with two wickets to his name, returning economical bowling figures of 2/22 in his four. 

Washington Sundar's half-century in vain as India bow down during run chase 

The Men in Blue had the required batters to get the job done by chasing down the competitive total. However, the hosts saw their top-order collapse in under four overs of the match as opener Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan along with Rahul Tripathi were dismissed for just 11 runs between them. 

The onus was then on the no. 1 T20I batter - Suryakumar Yadav and skipper Hardik to execute a rescue job to revive the chase. The duo fought hard and amassed 68 runs between them and nearly got the derailed chase back on track. 

Just when Suryakumar began playing his natural game, he was sent packing into the dugout as he mis-timed spinner Ish Sodhi’s delivery at a score of 47 runs off 34 balls. The dismissals of Hardik and the rest of the unit followed from the very next over.

Washington Sundar tried to give the rival side a run for their money and put up a tough fight. However, the 50-run knock by the all-rounder was not enough to keep them in the game as the damage had already been done and the visitors bagged a victory by 21 runs.

Here is how netizens reacted to the clash: