Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand opener Tim Seifert smashed a career-best 84 to lead his side to a convincing 80-run win over India in the first Twenty20 International in Wellington.
To add insult to injury, India’s loss was their biggest in terms of runs in the shortest format.
Being put in to bat first, New Zealand got off to a fantastic start as Seifert and Colin Munro amassed an 86-run partnership, during which Seifert brought up his half-century, before Munro was caught by Vijay Shankar at long-on off the bowling of Krunal Pandya for 34.
Seifert and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson kept the runs flowing with a 48-run stand before Seifert was clean bowled by Khaleel Ahmed for a 43-ball 84, which included seven boundaries and six sixes.
Debutant Daryl Mitchell fell shortly after, while Williamson went on to score 34 before he was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal.
With Ross Taylor and Scott Kuggeleijn making 23 and 20 not out respectively, New Zealand finished on 219/6 off their 20 overs.
Hardik Pandya was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Khaleel, Krunal, Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 220 to win, India lost stand-in captain Rohit Sharma early on as he was caught by Lockie Ferguson at deep square leg off the bowling of Tim Southee for one run.
Shikhar Dhawan, who opened the batting with Rohit, scored a quickfire 29 before he was cleaned up by Ferguson.
Once Dhawan was gone, India lost Rishabh Pant, Shankar, Dinesh Karthik and Hardik in quick succession.
With the tourists reeling at 77/6, MS Dhoni and Krunal put up a fight as they forged a 52-run partnership before Krunal was caught behind off the bowling of Southee for 20.
Kumar was the next to go, while Dhoni struck a 31-ball 39 before he was sent packing by Southee.
India were eventually bowled out for 139 when Chahal was clean bowled by Mitchell for one run.
Southee was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Ferguson, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner snapped up two wickets apiece. As for Mitchell, he claimed one.
Seifert was named Man of the Match.