The first innings have come to an end and the Men in Blue will be mighty pleased with the way things have gone for them at Eden Park. Thanks to a three-wicket haul by Krunal Pandya, the Indians were successful in stopping the Black Caps to a modest total.
The Kiwis started their proceedings with some caution as Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung the ball from the very first over. Hero of the first T20 International Tim Seifert, just like the first match, wanted to take on the bowlers from the first ball but this time Bhuvi got the best of him.
No Wellington heroics from Seifert, short of a length and held its line outside off. He tried to swing across the line, the ball took a fat outside edge and Dhoni took a simple catch to complete the dismissal. It was a good comeback from Bhuvi after conceding 10 runs from the last 2 balls.
His batting partner started cautiously too but took the bowlers on in the third over as he struck Bhuvi for consecutive boundaries in Kumar’s second over. The first ball went for a four while the next one went for a maximum. But just like the other day, Munro could not build a strong inning for himself and his team as Krunal Pandya picked up his first wicket of the match by dismissing Munro at the score of 12.
Nicely tossed up around the middle, Munro back away, was looking to go over the in-field, ended up slicing it and straight to cover. The ball went like a ‘tracer bullet’ but skipper Rohit Sharma ensured that he ain’t dropping those.
But what happened next was something that never should have happened on a cricketing field.
Krunal Pandya bowled a bowl which hit the front pad of Daryl Mitchell and he went for the review without even thinking saying that there was an inside edge. The replay showed that yes, there was an inside edge, which could be seen from the ‘naked eye’. The ‘HotSpot’ showed there was an edge but ‘snicko’ found nothing. As a result, Mitchell was given out and there was a lot of discussion about the dismissal in the middle. The Kiwi skipper asked the Indian captain to talk to the umpire but in the end, Mitchell had to walk away even after edging the ball.
After that dismissal, Willaimson was in disbelief and actually smiled while ridiculing the decision of the third umpire. But Krunal Pandya was breathing fire at Eden Park and picked up the important wicket of Kane Williamson to put the Kiwis on the back foot.
Williamson scored 20 off 17 balls, hitting three boundaries during his knock.
The Black Caps needed something special from one of their batsmen and today, it was Colin de Grandhomme who completely destroyed the spin-bowling of the Indian team. De Grandhomme fell like a bolt of lightning over Chahal and Krunal Pandya as the big man struck them for two consecutive sices in their respective overs.
The right-handed batsman reached to his maiden T20I half-century off just 27 balls. And when everyone thought he will now go berserk with his hard-hitting, the younger Pandya removed him to give his team a much-needed breakthrough.
An entertaining knock from Grandhomme came to an end at the score of 50 off just 28 balls, hitting one boundary and four towering sixes during his inning.
New Zealand’s most seasoned campaigner Ross Taylor played a crucial knock for his side once again and took his team over the 50-run mark. His inning was ended by a brilliant throw by Vijay Shankar which proved out to be too good for Taylor. He scored 42 off 36, striking three boundaries during his knock.
Krunal Pandya was the pick of the bowlers for Team India as he took 3 wickets in his 4 overs and gave away just 28 runs. Khaleel Ahmed also chipped in with two wickets in his full quota of overs.
At the end of the first innings, the Black Caps ended their innings on 158 for the loss of 8 wickets.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar