The stage was all set at Kotla as the hosts were upbeat to take on the number one side in the T20s. India was put into bat by the Kiwis skipper and India was up for the challenge right from the word go.
This match was special as India looked to win this so as to mark a perfect farewell for Ashish Nehra whose illustrious career came to an end today.
The openers gave a clinical performance and weaved a partnership of 158 runs which made sure that India gives the visitors a target for which they would have to work really hard.
Both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma played staggering knocks of 80 runs each and steered India to a big total. Virat Kohli’s cameo which was a short example of leading from the front saw the score going beyond 200 which gives any team a psychological advantage and confidence. India posted a total of 202 having lost just 3 wickets.
Hardik Pandya was given the license to destroy the Black Cap bowlers as Kohli sent him at number 3 today. But all Hardik could manage was a duck and he came back in just a matter of two balls.
Virat Kohli then played an amply crucial cameo of 26 from 11 balls giving a perfect climax to a tale that was begun by Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. Dhoni too remained unbeaten and hit his very first ball out of the park making the crowd go berserk.
In the second half, the onus was on the bowlers and they did pretty well to not just defend the target but also to wind up New Zealand in a scenario where they fell 53 short of the total. This was a big victory for India in termthe winning margin and just about the farewell, Ashish Nehra would have wanted.
Ashish Nehra however, could not fetch a wicket in his quota of 4 overs. Leg Spinners Chahal and Axar Patel picked up two wickets each and Hardik And Bhuvneshwar got one wicket each to their kitty. Ashish Nehra finished his 4 overs having conceded just 29 runs but remained wicketless.
New Zealand batsmen never looked in any sort of control to be in a position from where they could win the match. The Indian bowlers were right on their money and made sure that India picked wickets at regular interval to keep the New Zealand batsmen from gaining any momentum.
Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged the Man of the Match for his handsome innings of 80 from just 52 balls. As Rohit Sharma seemed to be scuffling Initiative Dhawan kept the scoreboard ticking and he well deserved the man of the match reward.
At the end of the match, Virender Sehwag, one of Ashish Nehra’s best friend and a legend of Indian cricket, tweeted a very special message. Viru wrote: “End of an era, Ashish Nehra. Congratulations on a fighting and wonderful career. Wish you the best, Ashish.”
End of an era , Ashish Nehra. Congratulations on a fighting and wonderful career. Wish you the best , Ashish.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 1, 2017