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India vs New Zealand: Seifert & Southee Consign India to Biggest T20I Defeat

A blistering 43-ball 84 from Tim Seifert, backed by some fiery cameos from the other batsmen helped New Zealand thump India by 80 runs in the first Twenty20 International match at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday (February 6) and gain a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Cricketnext Staff |February 6, 2019, 6:07 PM IST
India vs New Zealand: Seifert & Southee Consign India to Biggest T20I Defeat

A blistering 43-ball 84 from Tim Seifert, backed by some fiery cameos from the other batsmen helped New Zealand thump India by 80 runs in the first Twenty20 International match at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday (February 6) and gain a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Seifert and Colin Munro added 86 runs for the opening wicket after Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first. Most of the other New Zealand batsmen chipped in with useful runs as the hosts finished on 219 for 6 in their 20 overs. In reply, India were bundled out for 139 in 19.1 overs.

Munro, who struggled heavily against Mohammed Shami in the ODI series, made full use of the pacer's absence and went after the inexperienced Khaleel Ahmed from his very first over. The southpaw smoked Khaleel for a couple of boundaries down the ground before wicketkeeper-batsman Seifert smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a maximum over long on to set the ball rolling.

Munro, who is the only batsman to hit three centuries in T20Is, looked at ease in his favourite format and slammed Khaleel for two more sixes to force Indian captain Rohit Sharma introduce Krunal Pandya in only the fifth over. Both Seifert and Munro kept going after the Indian bowling attack and when the powerplay was done, the scoreboard read 66 without loss.

It was Krunal who provided India the first breakthrough, with Munro mistiming one of his deliveries straight into the hands of Vijay Shankar. In his 20-ball 34, Munro blasted two fours and as many sixes. Their 86-run opening wicket partnership is New Zealand's second best against India, behind Munro and Martin Guptill's 105 in Rajkot in 2017.

Seifert, however, kept going and hit Krunal for two more sixes in his final over to take New Zealand's score past the 100-run mark. Yuzvendra Chahal's introduction made no difference as Seifert kept playing his shots. Apart from being dropped in the 11th over, Seifert looked in complete control of his innings. The right-hander, however, couldn't convert his maiden T20I fifty into a century as he was knocked over by Khaleel after smacking seven fours and six maximums.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then took over the baton and hit five sixes between them to keep the scoreboard racing. The home team lost Daryl Mitchell (8), Williamson (22-ball 34), Colin de Grandhomme (3) and Taylor (14-ball 23) in the next few overs but that didn't affect the scoring rate. Dinesh Karthik had a horrible day on the field, missing out on two simple chances.

New Zealand needed a rapid finish to keep the momentum on their side and that's exactly what they got from Scott Kuggeleijn who smashed three fours and a six in the last two overs to hit an unbeaten 20 runs in just seven deliveries. While every Indian bowler picked up at least one wicket, not one looked in good rhythm.

India needed a rock-solid start and Shikhar Dhawan started the proceedings by hitting Kuggeleijn for 16 runs in his very first over. Tim Southee (3 for 17), however, kept things tight and dismissed Rohit for just 1 with a short delivery.

Coming in at No. 3, Vijay Shankar too went after Kuggeleijn, managing 18 runs from his next over. Just when it looked like everything was going fine for the visiting side, Lockie Ferguson knocked over Dhawan for 18-ball 29 with a searing pacy yorker at 151 kmph.

This was Rishabh Pant's chance to make a statement and all he could manage was 4 runs off 10 balls before missing a straight one from Mitchell Santner (2 for 24). Before the dust had settled, Vijay too mistimes one straight into the hands of the long off fielder after managing an 18-ball 27.

Having been slumped to 65 for 4 at the end of nine overs, the onus was on Karthik and MS Dhoni to make the match out of it, but legspinner Ish Sodhi got rid of Karthik (5) and Hardik Pandya (4) in his very first over to take India out of the game.

With 143 required in the last nine overs, Dhoni and Krunal stuck for a while and played a couple of entertaining shots but not once looked like causing a threat to New Zealand. After scoring 20 runs, Krunal fell to one of Southee's short deliveries.

Dhoni top-scored for India with 31-ball 39, but by then the game was well and truly over.

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