After running up 202 for three in 20 overs thanks to enterprising 50s from openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, the Indian bowlers came down hard on the Kiwi batsmen and restricted them to 149 for eight.
Leg-spinner YuzvendraChahal, bowling the second over of the innings gave the home side the first break-through by dismissing Guptill and then Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back Colin Munro as New Zealand found it difficult to keep pace with the asking rate.
By the time left-arm spinner Axar Patel took two wickets in his last over, New Zealand had fallen into an abyss requiring more than 14 runs per over.
Chahal then returned to remove the in-form batsman Tom Latham (39) stumped by Dhoni with the score on 99.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharmastruck scintillating half-centuries during a record 158-runpartnership and powered India to a formidable 202 for three.Both Dhawan and Rohit were dismissed after scoringidentical 80 runs, before skipper Virat Kohli (26 not out off11 balls) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (7 not out) guided Indiapast 200 with their power hitting.
This was India’s biggest partnership for any wicket,eclipsing the previous best of 138 held by Kohli and Rohit,against South Africa in 2015.
Put into bat, India were off to a busystart and upped the tempo as overs passed by in veteran seamerAshish Nehra’s final competitive game.The packed crowd at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium wastreated to some delightful cricketing shots by Dhawan and his opening partner Rohit.
Rohit, who got a reprieve on 16, slammed four sixes and six boundaries in his 55-ball knock. The left-handed Dhawan,who represents Delhi in the domestic circuit, blazed his way to 80 off only 52 balls, hitting 10 fours and two sixes. While Dhawan nearly lost his wicket while getting to hisfifty, Rohit brought up the landmark with a six straight over the top of left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.
Even as Dhawan found the fence from the word go with consummate ease, Rohit switched gears after getting his eye in and then dealt in fours and sixes. Colin Munro was hit over long-on for a six and having gained in confidence, sat on one knee and smashed Boult as the ball sailed over the fence behind fine leg. Dhawan launched into spinner Ish Sodhi for a six over hishead and followed that up with a boundary. The left-hander then hit Southee over the midwicket for another maximum.
The second of the three-match series will be in Rajkot.
- 3 Number of sixes hit by Virat Kohli in his 11-ball innings
- 4 Number of sixes hit by Rohit Sharma in his 80-run knock
- 158 Runs for the first wicket stand between Rohit Sharma and ShikharDhawan, a record for any wicket in T20s for India