WELLINGTON: India crashed to their worst ever Twenty20 International defeat as an explosive 84 by Tim Seifert set New Zealand up for an 80-run win in Wellington on Wednesday.
The explosive 86-run opening partnership off 50 deliveries by Seifert and Colin Munro laid the foundations for New Zealand to build their third highest T20 total of 219-6.
India were all out in reply for 139 with four balls remaining, in only the eighth time they have failed to bat through a 20-over innings.
Their previous worst defeat was by 49 runs to Australia at Bridgetown in 2010.
“It was one of those complete performances that you do search for,” beamed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, happy to see his side bounce back from the drubbing inflicted by India in the recent One-day International series. “One of the complete performances you search for. Seifert was excellent.”
India captain Rohit Sharma could not hide his disappointment, having elected to bowl at the Westpac Stadium when he won the toss because chasing a target is his side’s strong suit.
“We were outplayed in all three departments,” he said. “We have chased targets of 200 [plus] before and that’s probably the reason we played with eight batsmen.
“As a team we have always chased down targets and we believe that whatever target is set in front of us we can do it.”
He added: “We were confident of getting that target. It’s a small ground. We just needed that one big partnership which we failed to do.”
Wicket-keeper Seifert, whose previous best innings in eight Twenty20 Internationals was an unbeaten 14 on debut, gave New Zealand a flying start alongside Munro, who fell for 34 off 20 deliveries.
Seifert, who blazed his way to a maiden T20 half century from only 30 balls with five fours and three sixes, had a life on 71 when dropped on the boundary by Dinesh Karthik and added a further 13 runs before he was bowled by Khaleel Ahmed. His 43-ball innings included seven fours and six sixes, and likely secured his place as the backup keeper in New Zealand’s squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Williamson hit 34 from 22 balls, Ross Taylor 23 from 14 and Scott Kuggeleijn 20 from only seven deliveries as New Zealand posted its highest score in T20 matches at this venue.
Faced with batting at 11 an over, India faltered from the start when Sharma went for one.
Shikhar Dhawan blazed a quick 29 until he was bowled by Lockie Ferguson and his dismissal ignited a collapse of five wickets for 26 runs in 33 deliveries.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Krunal Pandya arrested the slide with a 52-run partnership before the last three wickets fell for 10 runs.
Tim Southee, who was dropped for the last three ODIs against India, marked his return to the side with three for 17 off his four overs.
Daryl Mitchell, son of former All Blacks rugby coach and current England assistant coach John Mitchell, took a wicket on debut.
The second T20 in the three-match series is in Auckland on Friday. India won the preceding ODI series 4-1.
T.L. Seifert b Khaleel 84
C. Munro c Shankar b K. Pandya 34
K.S. Williamson c H. Pandya b Chahal 34
D.J. Mitchell c Karthik b H. Pandya 8
L.R.P.L. Taylor c Khaleel b Kumar 23
C. de Grandhomme c sub b H. Pandya 3
M.J. Santner not out 7
S.C. Kuggeleijn not out 20
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-5) 6
TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs) 219
FALL OF WKTS: 1-86, 2-134, 3-164, 4-164, 5-189, 6-191.
DID NOT BAT: T.G. Southee, I.S. Sodhi, L.H. Ferguson.
BOWLING: Kumar 4-0-47-1 (2w); Khaleel Ahmed 4-0-48-1; K.H. Pandya 4-0-37-1; H.H. Pandya 4-0-51-2 (3w); Chahal 4-0-35-1.
R.G. Sharma c Ferguson b Southee 1
S. Dhawan b Ferguson 29
V. Shankar c de G’homme b Santner 27
R.R. Pant b Santner 4
M.S. Dhoni c Ferguson b Southee 39
K.D. Karthik c Southee b Sodhi 5
H.H. Pandya c Mitchell b Sodhi 4
K.H. Pandya c Seifert b Southee 20
B. Kumar c Seifert b Ferguson 1
Y.S. Chahal b Mitchell 1
Khaleel Ahmed not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-3, NB-1) 7
TOTAL (all out, 19.2 overs) 139
FALL OF WKTS: 1-18, 2-51, 3-64, 4-65, 5-72, 6-77, 7-129, 8-132, 9-136.
BOWLING: Southee 4-0-17-3; Kuggeleijn 2-0-34-0; Ferguson 4-0-22-2; Santner 4-0-24-2; Mitchell 2.2-0-13-1 (1nb); Sodhi 3-0-26-2 (3w).
RESULT: New Zealand won by 80 runs
UMPIRES: S.B. Haig (New Zealand) and C.M. Brown (New Zealand).
TV UMPIRE: W.R. Knights (New Zealand).
MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Tim Seifert.
SECOND MATCH: Auckland (N), Friday.
THIRD MATCH: Hamilton (N), Sunday.
Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2019