India beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first T20 International to go 1-0 up in the three-match series on Wednesday.
Chasing a target of 165, Suryakumar Yadav (62 off 40 balls) and skipper Rohit Sharma (48 off 36 balls) scored the bulk of the runs as India reached the target in 19.4 overs.
Surya hits top form
Suryakumar Yadav top-scored for India while batting at Number 3 in the absence of former T20I skipper Virat Kohli.
Yadav scored 62 runs in 40 balls and added 59 runs with skipper Rohit Sharma for the second wicket.
Surya got to his fifty off his 34th ball, and luck was on his sides as Boult dropped him at long leg in the 16th over off Tim Southee’s bowling.
Rohit fell two-run short of his 25th fifty in the format.
The India skipper also added 50 runs with KL Rahul for the first wicket that set the early tone for Team India in the chase of 165 runs.
In the last four overs, New Zealand bowlers made a good comeback and India needed 10 runs in the final over.
Debutant Venkatesh Iyer departed for four in his very first innings moments after slamming the bowler for a superb boundary.
He was out next ball attempting a cute reverse-lap.
However, Rishabh Pant smashed a boundary on the fourth ball off the final over to put India 1-0 up in the three-match series.
At one stage, India looked set for a cruising victory but Trent Boult’s twin-strike pulled New Zealand back in the game.
India scored only 14 runs in the three overs between 17-19 but Rishabh Pant, in the end, eventually held his nerve to take India past the line.
Kiwis post challenging total
Earlier, New Zealand scored a competitive 164 for 6, riding on half-centuries from Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman.
Martin Guptill top-scored for New Zealand with his impressive knock of 70 off just 42 balls.
Guptill and Mark Chapman added 109 runs for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed for 63 by Ravichandra Ashwin.
New Zealand got going in the last powerplay over, when Chahar overused the slower short ball and conceded 15.
There was only one boundary in the next four overs – shared between Ashwin and Axar Patel.
However, after that, India conceded a spate of runs as Guptill extended his arms through a pair of lofted drives against Siraj.
Chapman joined the party putting Axar away for six and four in the 12th over and bringing up his fifty in the process.
For India, Ravichandran Ashwin (2/23) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/24) were the pick of the bowlers.
Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand XI:
Tim Southee (c), Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult.
New Zealand 164/6 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 70, Mark Chapman 63; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/23, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/24) lost to India 166/5 in 19.4 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 62, Rohit Sharma 48; Trent Boult 2/31).