At the halfway, many expected Team India to chase down the 243 run target with ease at Feroz Shah Kotla, the target might have looked small on the board, but with Matt Henry and Trent Boult returning to the side and Tim Southee’s experience Kiwis were not going down without a fight.
Starting the proceedings for India, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were very careful against Matt Henry, and lightning Boult. As Rohit and Rahane went from watchful to defensive, Boult built up pressure by bowling dot balls, and had Rohit edge one to the keeper, as he drew the first blood.
After Rohit’s dismissal, the scoreboard was 21/1 after 8 overs, and Trent Boult figures read 4-2-5-1. With in form Virat and ever dependable Ajinkya Rahane, Indian spectators would have hoped for an easy chase, but Blackcaps were on fire, as Mitchell Santner had Virat caught behind, while Tim Southee put on the pressure by bowling dots, leading to a risk taking shot from Ajinkya Rahane in 19th over, as run rate had steeped down under 4, and was caught by Corey Anderson.
The catch caused lot of confusion as replays showed ball might have touched the ground but soft signal was not overturned as Third umpire gave benefit of doubt to the bowling side. Soon, a mix up between Dhoni and Manish Pandey, meant curtains for Pandey and India were suddenly 4 down.
With out of match practice MS Dhoni and inexperienced Kedar Jhadav in the middle and required run rate almost 6, Kiwis were on top, but a little partnership among Kedar and Dhoni helped India make a slow but effective comeback, both added 66 runs before Kedar was removed by Henry.
Dhoni helped scoreboard further to 172, before Tim had him removed as well with a stunning return catch. With 71 required from 63 balls, pressure was on Hardik Pandya and Akshar Patel, and the inexperience showed as Akshar fell to a poor shot off part-time bowler Guptill. Amit Mishra came in next and played a poor shot to gift Guptill another wicket.
While most of the Indian fans gave up, Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav put on a stunning 49-run stand to revive the hopes, before Pandya lost his nerve to give away his wicket to Trent Boult. India needed 10 runs off the last over, and Umesh managed 3 off the first 2 balls before last man Jasprit Bumrah got yorked by Southee, giving Blackcaps their first win of the tour.