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Spinners and Mitchell aid in New Zealand's 1-0 victory

Daryl Mitchell hit a game-changing 30-ball unbeaten 59 to help New Zealand grab a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against India in Ranchi on a field that provided some purchase for the spinners. The victory gave New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the series. In a chase of 177, the home team could only muster 155/9.

Dream start for the visitors

Mitchell's fireworks propelled New Zealand to a score that was just beyond par, and the spinner and Jacob Duffy gave the team the upper hand. Ishan Kishan attempted a tentative poke, but Bracewell bowled a gem of a delivery that pitched on middle on leg, gripped, and then beat it to smash top off. The player who took his position appeared uneasy at the crease and soon edged Duffy to the 'keeper. Santner took his first victim as Shubman Gill managed to eke out a leading edge to the fielder positioned at midwicket.

Suryakumar, Hardik raise hopes

Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya did for a time give hope that India would stage a comeback. To put some pressure back on New Zealand's bowlers, the pair used slog-sweeps, whip, cuts, and loft. But in the ninth over, Ish Sodhi's strong LBW plea was denied, giving Suryakumar pause. Although the ball-tracker indicated the impact would be the umpire's call and it would simply hit the off-stump, New Zealand wisely chose to take the review.

So what was the turning point of the match?

dismissal of Suryakumar. Suryakumar chipped Sodhi directly to Allen at long-on in the 12th over. As he offered Bracewell a return catch, Hardik accompanied the team's anchor back to the pavilion. Washington Sundar, who was lower in the pecking order, delivered some powerful blows to Duffy and Lockie Ferguson, but he was overworked. Sundar, who had already taken two wickets, completed a 28-ball fifty to reach his first T20I fifty but was bowled out by Ferguson in the final over.

Santner leads from the front

The captain of New Zealand, Santner, excelled with the ball. He kept an eye on the batters' feet and used deft pace adjustments and crease usage to cast uncertainty on the opposition. He finished with impressive figures of 2 for 11 from four overs. He also struck Suryakumar, who was in good form, with a maiden.

Mitchell's heroics

Mitchell's brilliant counterattack in the slog overs and Conway's 35-ball 52 contributed to New Zealand's huge total. India appeared to have made a great comeback in the slog overs after quickly dispatching Conway and Bracewell. Mitchell, however, smacked Arshdeep Singh for three sixes and a boundary in the final over of the innings.

Only once did Arshdeep manage to nail the yorkers. The middle order bat used the loft and pull to hit the big smashes, so his short ball lacked the venom to challenge Mitchell. Arshdeep, however, found it to be a humiliating experience as he battled with his run-up and finished with numbers of 1 to 5. 


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