Kiwis win toss, ask India to bat first in Kotla T20I
Nov 02, 2017, 00:16
Meanwhile, veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, who made his India debut back in 1999 against Sri Lanka in Colombo and represented the country in 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 T20Is, is all set to play his final game as he would bid adieu to worldwide cricket following this match. Axar Patel will combine with Yuzvendra Chahal once again.
Nehra played a stellar role for India eight years later in the 2011 World Cup semi-final, picking up 2/33 against Pakistan.
The southpaw turned up the heat by smashing a couple of sixes even as Rohit got to his 12th T20I half century by clobbering Santner for a maximum and two consecutive boundaries as India's score crossed the 150-run mark in no time.
The win in Delhi is the first ever T20I win by India against New Zealand.
Nehra bows out as India's third highest wicket-taker in T20Is behind R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah with 34 wickets from 27 matches. "Virat was on my case for the last 2-3 overs and I said I will bowl the last over", he said with New Zealand needing 61 runs in the final over.
India's opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan (80 from 52 balls) and Rohit Sharma (80 from 55 balls) blasted identical half tons to set the tone with a 158-run record opening stand and guide the hosts post a massive 202/3.
This is India's biggest partnership for any wicket, eclipsing the previous best of 138 held by Kohli and Sharma, against South Africa in 2015. Dhawan fell when he was on 80 and so did Rohit a while later. Also, the boundaries are short at this venue so we can expect a lot of fours and sixes from both the team.
Rohit was quick to catch up with his partner, launching Tim Southee for a six to start off before riding his luck immediately after the powerplay, when Southee dropped a sitter at the long-off boundary off Colin de Grandhomme. The Mumbaikar was bating on 16 then, and if his eventual score was any indication, the visitors paid a huge price. After calling time on his 18-year-long career, Nehra, in a post-match conversation with former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said that his body will be at peace now as he bids farewell to his worldwide career.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who was till now at the receiving end of Dhawan's onslaught, got the better of the southpaw with a googly outside off.
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