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Suryakumar Yadav shines at night!

Skipper Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav produced sublime knocks as India bungled towards end before recovering in time to fashion a five-wicket win over New Zealand in the opening T20I ushering in a new era in Indian cricket.

Martin Guptill (70 off 42) and Mark Chapman (63 off 50) took New Zealand to 164 for six on a good batting surface.

Rohit rocks

India’s chase was set up by Rohit (48 off 36), who made his full-time captaincy debut, and Suryakumar Yadav (62 off 40) who came in at number three in place of rested Virat Kohli.

The home team was cantering to a comfortable win but messed up the chase in the final four overs. In the end, with New Zealand running out of bowling options, the job was done in the 20th over bowled by part-time pacer Daryl Mitchell.

New Zealand’s Mark Chapman during his innings of 63 yesterday. Pic/AFP

Debutant Venkatesh Iyer hit his first ball in international cricket for four before Rishabh Pant got the winning runs.

The game marked the start of a new chapter in Indian cricket with Rohit as T20 skipper and Rahul Dravid as head coach. With both teams resting some of their key players as part of workload management, it was very much an even contest before the first ball was bowled.

India raced to 50 for no loss in five overs with Rohit playing some delightful shots. He got going with back to back fours off Tim Southee in the third over before unleashing his signature front pull on the final ball of the over.

The seasoned pace duo of Southee and Trent Boult were put under pressure upfront by both the openers. KL Rahul (15 off 14) got into the act with a massive six over deep square leg off Boult before Rohit hit another pull shot to collect 21 from the over.

Rahul fell to a soft dismissal on the first ball of Mitchell Santer’s spell to give New Zealand a wicket against run of play.

Suryakumar meant business from ball one and the most memorable shot of his innings was the pick-up stroke off Lockie Ferguson to get to his third T20 fifty. Both Rohit and Suryakumar should have gone on to finish the game but that didn’t happen.

From a straight forward 23 off the last 24 balls, India made it complicated by making the equation to 10 runs off the last over.

Ashwin shines

Earlier, Guptill and Chapman ensured New Zealand were well placed for a 180 plus total on a batting beauty but Ravichandran Ashwin’s double strike in one over put the brakes on the scoring rate. Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India, taking two for 23 in four overs while senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-24 in four overs) too got his swing back.

Brief scores
NZ 164-6 in 20 overs (M Guptill 70, M Chapman 63; R Ashwin 2-23, B Kumar 2-24) lost to India 166-5 in 19.4 overs (S Yadav 62, Rohit 48; T Boult 2-31) by 5 wickets

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