The first T20 match between India and New Zealand took place on January 27, 2023 and it was a highly anticipated encounter between two top-ranked teams in the world. New Zealand won the match by 21 runs, securing a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20 series.
Batting first, New Zealand made a strong start with opener Finn Allen scoring a quickfire 35 off 23 deliveries and Devon Conway scoring 52 off 35 balls including 7 fours and a maximum. In the middle order, Daryl Mitchell continued his good form with a well-made 59 off 30 deliveries which helped New Zealand post a challenging 176-6 in 20 overs.
India’s chase got off to a slow start as they lost three wickets within 15 runs including both their openers, Shubman Gill and skipper Ishan Kishan.
Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya tried to steady the innings with a 68-run partnership but the run rate kept rising. Suryakumar scored a well-made 47 off 34 balls, but the Indian middle-order except Washington Sundar who scored 50 off 28 balls, failed to capitalize on the platform set by them. India could only manage 144/7 in 20 overs, falling short by 21 runs.
Mitchel Santner was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, finishing with figures of 2/11 in 4 overs. Bracewell and Fergunson also contributed with two wickets each.
This win would have given New Zealand a lot of confidence ahead of the rest of the series. On the other hand, India would need to regroup and come back stronger in the next match to keep the series alive. With the next T20 World Cup 2024, both teams would be looking to fine-tune their preparations and put up a good show.
Daryl Mitchell was adjudged the Player of the Match award. He didn’t forget to mention the responsibility after Conway’s departure. He said, “It is nice to contribute to a score which helps us win a game. I thought the way the boys bowled at the end was pretty special. It is nice to take some momentum into the rest of the T20 series. The guys who went in early said it was pretty difficult against spin because of the tacky nature. It was my job to build a partnership and take the onus on myself after Conway’s departure.”