Ashwin, Suryakumar Help India Edge Series Opener

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Ashwin, Suryakumar help India edge series opener. Suryakumar Yadav scored 62 off 40 in the chase.

Ashwin, Suryakumar Help India Edge Series OpenerSuryakumar Yadav scored 62 off 40 in the chase.

In a nutshell

In the first-ever T20I played at the Sawai Mansigh Stadium in Jaipur, India were stretched to the final over by New Zealand before they could take a 1-0 lead with a five-wicket win. Chasing 165 in the opening T20I of the three-match series, India were cruising until the 17th over, needing 23 off 24 balls. But New Zealand's pacers came back strongly, making the most of their collective experience to leave India requiring 10 from the final over. Eventually, India just about managed to cross the line with two balls to spare.

How did India go about the chase?

They got off to a flier, attacking New Zealand's pacers from the onset as the wicket was getting better for the batsmen. A powerplay worth 56 runs set the tone for the chase with Rohit Sharma taking on Trent Boult and Tim Southee, with both pacers conceding over 20 runs in their two overs respectively. Both paid the price for consistently bowling short to the Indian captain, who strikes at over 255 since 2018 against pacers with the pull.

Could New Zealand pull things back?

Slightly. KL Rahul fell in the last over of the powerplay, but there was no relenting from Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav, who followed in his captain's footsteps getting off to a good start. At the halfway stage, India were going strong with 80 needed in the last 10 overs. Rohit then fell to an ordinary delivery from Boult, pulling to short fine leg, departing for 48 off 36. Mitchell Santner bowled a lovely pace, and conceded just 19 runs in his four overs with Rahul's wicket to boot.

How good was Suryakumar though?

He made a strong start to his innings and with some sublime strokeplay and took the game away from New Zealand. He played to his strengths with some adept wrist-play and milked the leg-side. And with the quick outfield, he hit as many as six fours and three sixes to bring up his half-century off 35 balls – his third in T20Is.

India needed 23 off 24, how did it come down to 10 from the last over?

The pacers were taken for plenty at the start, but came back well in the death to give New Zealand an outside chance. Boult had dropped Suryakumar on 57, but in the 17th over, he showed his class, not just knocking the batsman over for a 40-ball 62, but conceding just two runs. Lockie Ferguson and Southee thereafter conceded 11 in the next two overs with Shreyas Iyer holing out. Pressure mounted on both sides as part-time bowler Daryl Mitchell was handed the responsibility of bowling the final over. He crumbled under pressure in his only over on the day, disappointingly for the visitors, bowling two wides and conceding two boundaries as Pant struck the winning runs.

From 1/1, how did New Zealand recover?

Thanks to fifties from Mark Chapman and Martin Guptill. In the opening over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got some movement with the ball swinging early. He got two deliveries to move away from Guptill before knocking over Daryl Mitchell for a golden duck with one that came back in. Thereafter, Chapman led New Zealand's steady revival before letting loose after the halfway mark.

After having 65 on the board at the half-way mark, 31 came from the next two overs as New Zealand kicked on. Chapman got to his first half-century for New Zealand off 44 balls as New Zealand were looking at a total of 180 at least.

India then pulled things back…

R Ashwin brought out his smarts to show how he can be such an asset in the shortest format. He bowled one over in the powerplay, but it was his double strike in the 14th over that brought India back into the game, which was the eventual difference between 165 and a 180-plus total. He first deceived Chapman in the air, flighting one and beating the set batsman on the outside edge. He then beat Glenn Phillips on the inside edge for a duck, as New Zealand's century stand was broken and momentum swung India's way. He used his pace variations in the latter-half of his spell to precision with slower balls at the front fetching the batsmen runs early on. He eventually finished with 2-23 in his four overs.

How did New Zealand still get to 164?

On the back of Martin Guptill's first half-century against India in T20Is. Guptill let loose after Chapman departed as New Zealand went past 150 in the 18th over. After a slow start, Guptill finished with a 42-ball 70 with four sixes and three fours, but New Zealand's middle order wobble had them finish 15-20 runs short with only 12 runs coming in the last two overs.

Brief scores: New Zealand164/6 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 70, Mark Chapman 63; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-24, R Ashwin 2-23) lost to India166/5 in 19.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 48, Suryakumar Yadav 62; Trent Boult 2-31) by five wickets.

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