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IND v NZ, 1st T20I, 2022-23: India's pacers splurge runs at 11.9 RPO, upper order crumbles; NZ win

India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, Top Performances: Devon Conway's 52, Daryl Mitchell's 59 and Mitchell Santner-Michael Bracewell's combined 4-42 are top performances. India's pacers splurge runs at 11.9 RPO, upper order crumbles; New Zealand win.

India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, 2022-23_ Mitchell Santner bowled a magical spell (2-11) against India in Ranchi; NZ beat India _ Walking Wicket (Image_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Santner bowled a magical spell (4-1-11-2) against India in Ranchi (Image: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Brief Scores: New Zealand 176-6 (Mitchell 59*, Conway 52, Sundar 2-22, Kuldeep 1-20) beat India 155-9 (Sundar 50, Suryakumar Yadav 47, Santner 2-11, Bracewell 2-31) by 21 runs

Player of the Match – Daryl Mitchell (59 off 31)

With the ODI series getting concluded as a rather one-sided affair in India’s favour, both India and New Zealand locked horns at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) International Stadium Complex in Ranchi in the first T20I of the three-match series on Friday. The hosts won the toss and India skipper Hardik Pandya decided to put New Zealand into bat.

New Zealand openers featuring the likes of Devon Conway and Finn Allen started off on a positive note, getting their side to a steady start. However, runs during the middle overs dried up as the Indian spinners featuring Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Hooda got into the act and prevented New Zealand from teeing off. Blackcaps eventually posted a total of 176 for the loss of 6 wickets.

In response, India lost their top three batters in quick succession inside the first powerplay courtesy Jacob Duffy, Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell who didn’t let India get away during the initial overs. Hardik and Suryakumar Yadav later arrived at the crease and steadied the ship for India by stitching a useful 68-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, following their departure, Team India lost their way a bit and eventually ended up losing the match by 21 runs. New Zealand spinners bowled immaculately and squeezed the life out of India’s batters during the middle & death overs that proved to be the deciding factor in the game.

India’s upper order exposed against quality bowling unit

India’s upper order looked out of sorts from word go as they were dazzled by the spin and seam of Bracewell, Santner and Duffy. After registering some memorable performances in the ODI series, expectations were certainly very high from Shubman Gill. But he perished cheaply while playing a rash shot off a turning delivery.

Ishan Kishan too fell prey to a peach of a delivery bowled by Bracewell. Rahul Tripathi, who is finding his feat in international cricket, departed without scoring a single run. It is fair to say that all the dismissal balls were off outstanding deliveries on a track which had something for the slow and the quick bowlers. No doubt it was a clinical bowling display from the Kiwi bowlers but with added assistance from the track, they were able to unleash absolute carnage on India’s batters. The upper order needs to regroup and must work out a plan on scoring effortlessly in tricky conditions.

Kiwi openers get off to solid start

Devon Conway and Finn Allen batted sensibly during the powerplay overs without taking any unnecessary risks. The duo amassed a 43-run partnership for the first wicket and were cruising along nicely at more than 10 RPO. They scored 12 off the opening over of Hardik and also dominated Arshdeep in the following over. With runs starting to come thick and fast for the Kiwis, India were forced to make some early bowling changes.

Just when New Zealand openers were looking to go ballistic, spin was introduced in the third over which was bowled by Washington Sundar. Sundar struck in his second over by removing the danger man Allen, and soon after removed Mark Chapman without troubling the scorers. New Zealand were jolted early on with the fall of two wickets in just one over. Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Hooda soon followed and did well to maintain the pressure on the Kiwis until the quick bowlers started disappearing to all parts. The spin trio bowled 10 overs together, picked up 3 vital wickets and conceded just 56 at an economy of 5.60 RPO, unlike their fast bowling counterparts who went for plenty at an unbelievable economy rate of 11.90.

India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, 2022-23_ Washington Sundar scored 50 off 28 and took 2-22 against New Zealand; NZ beat India _ Walking Wicket (Image_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Sundar scored 50 off 28 and took 2-22 against New Zealand (Image: ©BCCI/Twitter)

An off-day for Umran Malik

The Kashmir speedster who rocked the 2022 IPL edition with his thunderbolts is currently not having the best of the outings with the ball. And today was no different. Though he is bowling with pace, Umran Malik has been found guilty of leaking too many runs. He bowled a one off over in today game. The speedster struggled with control and consistency and his wayward bowling costed him 16 runs in that over. He was never used again in this match. Some critics may argue that he was not utilised to his full potential today but the 23-year-old has failed to deliver any impactful performances for his side ever since he made his T20I debut back in June 2022 against Ireland.

Arshdeep Singh’s horror show with the ball

Arshdeep Singh has had a night to forget. He conceded an enormous 51 runs in his 4 over spell at a whopping economy rate of 12.75. Singh was put right under the pump when his opening over went for more than 10 runs. He was clobbered to all parts and thoroughly dominated by the Kiwi batters. But it was his last over that truly came to haunt him as he ended up leaking 27 runs which included 3 massive sixes. Furthermore, during his last over he also made a grave error of overstepping, and Mitchell took full advantage to launch himself which helped New Zealand get to a commanding score which at one point looked like a distant possibility.

Singh has been penalised before for bowling no-balls which cost India dearly on quite a few occasions. If he does not address this aspect of his game soon enough, he will soon become a liability for Team India in the death overs.

Let’s reflect on the top three performances from the 1st T20I between India and New Zealand played in Ranchi.

India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, 2022-23_ Daryl Mitchell smashes 30-ball 59 against India at Ranchi; NZ beat India_ Walking Wicket (Image_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Daryl Mitchell smashes 30-ball 59 against India at Ranchi (Image: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Daryl Mitchell’s quick fire 59* off 30 deliveries

Just when the NZ innings was begging to collapse, Daryl Mitchell came in to bat in the 13th over and took some time early on to get his eye in. With no real resistance from the other end, the onus was on him to get New Zealand to a fighting total. He amassed a few runs at a steady pace and waited till the 20th over when he went all guns blazing. Though he was fortunate enough to receive a ton of freebies from Arshdeep including a game changing no-ball, Mitchell showcased his power-hitting abilities during the last over and took the Blackcaps from 149 to 176. In the end, the target proved beyond India’s reach as New Zealand were able to register a comfortable win thanks to Mitchell’s quickfire 59*.

India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, 2022-23_ Michael Bracewell took 2-31 against India in Ranchi; NZ beat India _ Walking Wicket (Image_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Bracewell took 2-31 against India in Ranchi (Image: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell’s tight spells of 2/11 and 2/31

Unlike their spin bowling counterpart Ish Sodhi, the spin bowling duo of Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner bowled tight lines and exploited the assistance from the pitch to their advantage. Both of them were getting enough purchase from the track which troubled India’s batters a lot. The duo conceded only 44 runs in their 8 overs at an economy of 5.5 which really derailed India’s efforts of keeping up with the required run rate. Besides, they didn’t give away too loose balls to score off which further helped them tighten the screws on India’s batters.

India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, 2022-23_ Devon Conway scored 35-ball 52 against India in Ranchi; New Zealand beat India _ Walking Wicket (Image_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Conway scored 35-ball 52 against India in Ranchi (Image: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Devon Conway shined at the top of the order

Devon Conway looked in phenomenal touch and played a crucial role with the bat at the top of the order. He wasn’t deterred when he lost his partner early on in the 5th over. He batted with maturity and stayed till the end before getting dismissed in the 18th over. He scored 52(35) at a robust strike rate of 148.57 which included 7 fours and 1 six. His contribution coupled with Allen and Mitchell’s contribution helped New Zealand register a competitive total which they were able to defend with ease towards the end of the innings.

What's to Come

After going 1-0 up, the Blackcaps will be relieved and would be riding high on confidence. After suffering an embarrassing 0-3 defeat in the recently concluded ODI series, New Zealand have their eyes on winning the T20 series from this point onwards. They will be heading to Lucknow with some degree of confidence under their belt.

However, India will not let this get away from their grasp so easily. They have a strong T20I record at home and have not lost a single series in this format since 2019. We can expect a cracker of a game once we head to Lucknow for the second T20I on January 29.

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