Despite losing the first T20I against India in Jaipur in the three-T20I series, New Zealand skipper Tim Southee credited his side for taking the match deep.
Put in to bat first, New Zealand put up 164-6, courtesy of a 109-run second-wicket stand between Martin Guptill (70 off 42) and Mark Chapman (63 off 50). India were cruising at 144 for two in the 17th over before New Zealand applied the brakes on the Indian innings and made them earn their win with two balls to spare. In the post-match presentation ceremony, Tim Southee said:
“You always want to come out on the right side of close games. We played our best cricket and took it deep. Someone like Mark Chapman hasn’t played a lot of cricket of late, and to play the way he played was very pleasing to the side. It was a game of fine margins.”
Tim Southee hailed Mitchell Santner’s (4-0-19-1) spell for keeping India’s run rate in check, which was soaring at 10 after five overs. The tight spell helped New Zealand take the game deep.
“It was a good score, but we didn’t start as well as we wanted to with the ball, but we did well to claw back in the middle, and obviously Mitch Santner was outstanding with the ball and to take it deep and take it to the last over I guess that was a positive as well,” added Tim Southee.
“Fielding is an area we pride ourselves on” – Tim Southee
Referring to the misfields and dropped catches, Tim Southee stated that New Zealand take a lot of pride in their fielding, and that Wednesday was a rare off day for them in that department. He also noted that it’s always tough adapting to different grounds. Southee, who is standing in for Kane Williamson as captain, said:
“It’s always tough (with fielding) on different grounds. But we set high expectations, so it was a bit off day on the field, and it’s an area we pride ourselves on and have been very good at it in the past few months.”
New Zealand, whose run in the 2021 T20 World Cup ended in the runners-up spot, will play the second T20I of the series against India in Ranchi on Friday.
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