Kane Williamson’s gamble to compromise on speed and pick three specialist spinners paid off as New Zealand humbled hosts India by 47 runs in a spin-dominated Super 10 contest of the World Twenty20 on Tuesday.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand posted 126-7 in the Group Two contest on a prodigiously turning track at Nagpur’s VCA Stadium, seemingly a below-par total against the hosts famed for their proficiency against spin bowling.
New Zealand’s three-pronged spin attack, however, ensured it was more than enough as Mitchell Santner (4-11), Nathan McCullum (2-15) and the Indian-born Ish Sodhi (3-18) wrecked the hosts, who folded for 79 in 18.1 overs.
And it’s all over for India. Dhoni and Nehra fall in quick succession as the hosts slump to a 47-run defeat.
17.4 Santner to Dhoni, OUT
Nathan McCullum has ended the game with a scorching catch at long on! Dhoni clubbed the ball against the turn, hitting it hard and flat towards the boundary, McCullum came running in, judging the carry perfectly and timing his dive to take it inches from the turf
Over 17: Ashwin’s wicket and 10 off the over. 75/8
16.3 Sodhi to Ashwin, OUT
What a lovely ball from the legspinner, Ashwin is beaten, stranded and helpless! He came out of his crease to push hard at a legbreak and was beaten by the flight and the length as the ball ripped past his bat. He didn’t even try getting back before Ronchi took off the bails
Over 16: 4 runs off the over, again. 65/7
Over 15: 4 off Sodhi. 61/7
Over 14: 4 off Santner’s over. 57/7
Over 13: 4 off Milne. 53/7
Over 12: 4 off McCullum. 49/7
Over 11: 3 off the over and Jadeja’s wicket. 45/7
10.2 Sodhi to Jadeja, OUT
Sodhi has taken a blinder! His team-mates mob him in ecstatic celebration! Jadeja went on the front foot and closed the face of the bat to play on the leg side, the leading edge lobbed towards Sodhi’s left and he covered a lot of ground and dived pretty much full length to get his hands under the ball before it hit the turf
Over 10: 1 run off Santner and Pandya’s wicket. 42/6
9.4 Santner to Pandya, OUT
After a few balls spin away from the right-hander, Santner darts the ball flat and fast into the right-hander from around the wicket, Pandya is caught on the back foot and hit on the pad. Was that missing leg stump? I will have to see replays.
Over 9: 2 runs and Kohli’s wicket off Ish Sodhi’s over. 41/5
8.1 Sodhi to Kohli, OUT, and what a strike first ball!
The big ripping legbreak has got the huge wicket! Sodhi pitched on a perfect length around off stump, drawing Kohli forward into a cover drive away from his body, the ball gripped the pitch and turned furiously, grazing the outside edge before nestling in Ronchi’s gloves. New Zealand on the charge
Over 8: 6 off the Elliott over. 39/4
Over 7: 4 off Milne. 33/4
Over 6: 3 runs off Elliott. 29/4
Over 5: 5 runs and Yuvraj’s wicket. 26/4
4.5 McCullum to Yuvraj Singh, OUT
Driven back to the bowler and McCullum appeals for a caught and bowled! Surely that’s a bump ball? The umpires are asking for the third umpire. And that looks out on replay! Yuvraj came forward to the flighted ball, the ball pitched just before it hit the bat and he chipped it cleanly back to the bowler. That’s out. So odd that it looked like a bump ball live. This is a tricky pitch.
Over 4: 9 off the over. 21/3
Over 3: 2 runs and Rohit, Raina’s wicket. 12/3
2.5 Santner to Raina, OUT, another one gone!
Raina lobs a dolly to midwicket! He moved back and across his stumps and closed the face of his bat way too early, the leading edge resulted in the tamest of catches. Game on in Nagpur!
2.2 Santner to Sharma, OUT, stumped!
Ronchi fumbles and juggles the take but Rohit was so far out of his crease that he had time to recover and break the stumps. Rohit was still barely in the frame!
Over 2: 4 runs in Anderson’s first over. 10/1
Over 1: 6 off Nathan McCullum’s first over and the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. India 6/1
0.5 McCullum to Dhawan, OUT, lbw!
Dhawan falls like Guptill did, trying to sweep. He got his front foot forward and across his stumps but missed, he was hit flush on the pad and that looked pretty adjacent. Was height an issue?
India need to score 127 to win after Luke Ronchi’s 11-ball 21 helped New Zealand to a somewhat respectable 126/7 in the World T20 opener in Nagpur on Tuesday.
After Kiwi captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first, New Zealand’s batsman opted for an ultra-aggressive strategy.
India skipper MS Dhoni chose R Ashwin to open the bowling on a dry, turning VCA track. Martin Guptill signalled his intent with a six off the first ball but Ashwin struck right back, trapping the opener leg before.
Colin Munro, touted as a potential successor to the recently retired Brendon McCullum, fell prey to poor shot selection, giving Ashish Nehra his first scalp in the second over.
(For Live scores and commentary, click here)
The Kiwis failed to really get going, while MS Dhoni’s inspired bowling changes helped pick regular wickets. Corey Anderson topscored with 34 off 42 balls.
For the Indians, Ashwin, Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja picked a wicket apiece.