Updated: November 1, 2017 8:58:08 pm
India openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started off the T20I series against New Zealand in the most brilliant manner that they could have after the left-right batting combination hammered a record partnership of 158 runs for the first wicket as the hosts posted 202/3 in 20 overs. After being put into bat, India were off to a lucky start as New Zealand had a sloppy day in the field after they dropped both openers early in the innings. For New Zealand, it was left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner who began the proceedings.
Dhawan was put down by Mitchell Santner in the second over while Rohit got another life in the seventh over. But the two batsmen capitalised well on the chances given to them and went on to compile a record stand. Rohit and Dhawan surpassed the Gambhir-Sehwag’s record of 136 runs that they scored in 2007 in Durban against England.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi looked good in the middle and he did give New Zealand their first breakthrough in the form of Shikhar Dhawan after the left-hander came down the track and edged the ball that was grabbed by Tom Latham behind the stumps. Two balls later, Hardik Pandya who was promoted up the order at number three was undone for a duck after he too gave a catch to Latham.
India skipper Virat Kohli then took the onus on himself and began to dispatch the bowlers all around the park and went back in the hut unbeaten at 26 off just 11 deliveries. His knock included 3 maximums. Opener Rohit Sharma was out for 80 after an on-field confusion. He was initially given not out but a review from Kane Williamson changed the decision and Rohit departed.
It was a pretty tough day for New Zealand quicker bowlers as they leaked runs at a heavy pace. Trent Boult returned with figures of 1/49 in 4 overs while Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme returned with 0/44 in 4 and 0/34 in 3 overs respectively. Dhawan after his innings said “Really enjoyed batting on this track. Played all my cricket here. Very thankful today that I got to score some runs for India at this venue. Feel this is a damp surface. At the same time, we scored runs. So was a bit confused. Our spinners will be handy here.”
India have never beaten New Zealand in a T20I earlier.
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