India thrashed New Zealand by 53 runs in the first of the three-match T20 series. Ashish Nehra couldn’t have asked for a better farewell as his teammates gifted him a hefty win in his last cricketing outing.
India was put in to bat first by the Kiwis skipper, Kane Williamson and India knew that they have to set a target that even the top-ranked team in T20s couldn’t chase. This is exactly what happened as India after a cautious start knocked the Black Caps bowlers all around the park. Openers Rohit and Shikhar posted a humongous 158 runs stand and the rest was done by Kohli who was playing at home.
India gave the Kiwis a solid total of 202 to chase and the Black Caps never really looked like going anywhere close to it. Clearly, India got the better of the top-ranked T20 team and thumped them with a handsome victory. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Chahal made sure that New Zealand batsmen get no chance of surpassing the huge total the classy Indian batting line-up had posted.
Here are the player ratings as per their performance in Nehra Ji’s farewell game.
Shikhar Dhawan 9/10
As Rohit Sharma seemed to struggle with his timing initially Dhawan made sure that the momentum keeps going. Shikhar Dhawan showed great intent right from the word go and didn’t disappoint his home crowd at all. Shikhar Dhawan played a stunning knock of 80 from just 52 balls and gave India the dream started they needed against the numero uno T20s side.
Rohit Sharma 8/10
He got off to a rusty start and was even dropped early in his innings. But later he made sure that the Kiwis regret dropping him miserably. Once he got going there was no stopping him and he too played staggering a knock of 80 from 55 balls with 4 huge sixes. He got out in a rather confusing manner but had done his job till then.
Virat Kohli 7.5/10
The captain today came at number 4 after the plot to send Hardik Pandaya at Number 3 fell flat on its face. Much to the excitement of the local crowd Kohli’s cameo was full of some powerful hitting. With 3 big sixes, Kohli made 26 of just 11 balls and gave the perfect finishing touch to the total. He remained unbeaten after a vital cameo.
MS Dhoni 8/10
Dhoni didn’t get enough opportunity to showcase his batting skills as he walked to the crease only in the last over. But even in his very short unbeaten stay, he hit a mighty six which was spectacular to watch. Behind the stumps, he initially goofed up a catch but the veteran later made up for it by holding on to a couple of catches and a smart stumping to send back the in-form Latham.
Hardik Pandya 7/10
Today Hardik failed to weave magic with the bat as he was out for a duck. He was sent in at number 3 today only to come back very soon to the disappointment of the skipper. But then he did something spectacular in the field which makes us forget about his dismal batting performance. The Martin Guptill catch he took was just brilliant and spectacular. He exhibited impeccable athleticism to hold on to that catch. He performed decently with the bowl too and sent Kane Williamson back to the dugout.
Ashish Nehra 5/10
The only disappointment he would have from this farewell game of his would be to end without a wicket. Playing in front of his home crowd which has emerged to see him play for the last time Nehra bowled well and restricted the opposition nicely. He finished with figures of 0/29 in his spell of four overs. At last, we got to say, Thank you, Nehra Ji, for the all that you’ve contributed to Indian cricket. We love you!
Jasprit Bumrah 5/10
Today was one rare tough day at work for the bowler who just made it to the apex of the T20 bowling rankings. Bumrah was expensive today and conceded 37 runs in his quota contrary to his repute of being the best death bowler in the modern day game.
Yuzvendra Chahal 8/10
He has been enormously impressive especially in T20s. He lived up to that repute and picked up 2 wickets having conceded just 26 runs. Chahal got the better of Guptill and Latham with his leg spin.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 6/10
After being hit for plenty at Kanpur Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned to what he’s known for. He was very economical and ended with figures of 1 for 23 in his quota of 4 overs. He once again picked the wicket of Munro.
Axar Patel 8.5/10
He was preferred to Kuldeep Yadav and he did not let his skipper down at all. He was very economical and even picked a couple of wickets ending with figures of 2/20 in four overs.
Shreyas Iyer 3/10
It was to everyone’s surprise when Shreyas Iyer, the domestic cricket fame made it to the playing 11. His services with the bat weren’t required but he seemed very sloppy in the field.