A dejected Rohit Sharma walks off after being dismissed for 1 in the first T20I between New Zealand and India at Wellington.

India Fall to Their Biggest-Ever Defeat in 1st T20I vs New Zealand

  • New Zealand beat India by 80 runs in opening game of three-match T20I series at Wellington.
  • Tim Seifert’s 43-ball 84 powered the hosts to 219/6, their highest score in T20Is against India.
  • India were bowled out for 139 in 19.2 overs, with Tim Southee picking up 3/17.
  • The second T20I will be held at Auckland on Friday, 8 February.

India suffered their heaviest defeat in T20 internationals as New Zealand stormed to a 80-run win in the opening T20I between the sides at Wellington on Wednesday, 6 February.

The high of a commanding 4-1 victory in the ODIs was wiped out for the Men in Blue by a ruthless display from the Kiwis, who dominated proceedings all through the clash.

Having been asked to bat, New Zealand smashed 219/6 – their highest score in nine T20Is against India, and fourth-highest overall – with opener Tim Seifert belting 84 off 43 balls.

India fared even worse with the bat, losing wickets at regular intervals to be bundled out for 139.

The 80-run margin of defeat is easily India’s worst in T20Is, in terms of runs. They had never previously lost a match in the shortest format by more than 49 runs.

Seifert Shines at the Top

With Martin Guptill ruled out of the series due to injury, the 24-year-old got a chance to make an impression – and stake a World Cup claim, potentially – and he did not disappoint.

Seifert had made only 42 runs in seven prior T20I appearances for the Black Caps, with a highest score of 14, but he made double of that tally by feasting on the Indian attack. His 84, in fact, surpassed the highest score for any wicketkeeper-batsman in T20Is in New Zealand.

Seifert and Colin Munro (34 off 20 balls) pummelled their way along at 11 per over in the Powerplay, and their opening association was worth 86 runs in 8.2 overs.

That strong start was capitalised upon by the Kiwi middle order. Captain Kane Williamson hit 34 from 22 balls, Ross Taylor 23 from 14 and Scott Kuggeleijn 20 from only seven deliveries as New Zealand posted their highest score in T20 matches at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/BLACKCAPS">BLACKCAPS</a>)
Colin Munro (L) and Tim Seifert’s 86-run opening stand was the second-highest for any wicket in T20Is at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.

Insipid India Slump to Record Low

The Indian reply was a study in contrast, with the usually sound chasers failing to attain any momentum in their innings.

Captain Rohit Sharma fell for 1, skying a short ball from Tim Southee.

Vijay Shankar (27 off 18 balls) was elevated to number three, and together with Shikhar Dhawan (29 off 18), he appeared to be keeping India afloat as the visitors reached 46/1 after five overs.

But Lockie Ferguson bowled Dhawan with a 151.5 kmph yorker in the sixth over, and the chase would begin to crumble once the spinners were introduced.

Rishabh Pant’s audition for a World Cup berth began in disastrous fashion, with the 21-year-old scratching around in a 10-ball stay which yielded only four runs before seeing his stumps broken by Mitchell Santner.

Santner removed Shankar in the same over, the ninth of the innings, as India slid to 65/4. Bad would become worse two overs later, when Ish Sodhi snared both Dinesh Karthik (5 off 6 balls) and Hardik Pandya (4 off 3 balls) in his first over.

From 77/6, it took a 31-ball 39 from MS Dhoni to accord a sense of respectability to the Indian total. Batting at five, Dhoni shared a 52-run seventh-wicket association with Krunal Pandya, who made 20 off 18 balls.

Southee and Ferguson returned to wipe out the tail, as India were bowled out for only the eight time in T20 internationals.

“We were outplayed in all three departments. We always knew 200 is not going to be an easy chase, although the grounds are smaller here. But we kept losing wickets which kept throwing us out of the game.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian captain

New Zealand benefitted from an outstanding collective performance from their bowlers. Southee was the pick of the lot, with 3/17 in four overs, but Ferguson (2/22 in 4), Santner (2/24 in 4) and Sodhi (2/26 in 3) all contributed to their huge win.

Debutant Daryl Mitchell, son of former All Blacks rugby coach and current England assistant coach John Mitchell, claimed the final wicket.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 219/6 (Seifert 84, Munro 34, H Pandya 2/51) beat India 139 all out in 19.2 overs (Dhoni 39, Southee 3/17, Ferguson 2/22) by 80 runs.