Indian batsmen are considered to be the best when it comes to playing spin bowling as they grow up playing on traditional turning tracks. But what happened today at the VCA Cricket Stadium in Nagpur is in strict contradiction to this theory. Three Kiwi Spinners totally bamboozled a strong Indian batting unit with their magical spin bowling. New Zealand bowled India Out for 79 runs in 18.1 overs with Santner, Sodhi and McCullum claiming 4,3 and 2 wickets respectively.
Being the first encounter of the Super-10 it was expected that the game would be a cracker of a contest between India and New Zealand. The pitch at Nagpur had shown in the Qualifier matches that it is a slow turning track which assists the spinners and medium pace bowlers.
After winning the toss, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson made the right choice to bat first. Guptill made a positive start to the match by hitting the first ball of the match for a six. However, Guptill was given out LBW the very next ball trying to sweep a good length delivery. Munro walked in at no.3 and also smacked Ashwin for a six. But he was out caught at mid-off in the next over bowled by Ashish Nehra while trying to heave him over mid-off. New Zealand were reduced to 14-2 within the first two overs.
Corey Anderson steadied the ship for a while for the kiwis. However, the introduction of Raina into the attack saw Williamson being stumped for 8(16). New Zealand could never recover from these early jitters and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. But thanks to some last over slogging by Luke Ronchi, New Zealand could post a total of 126-7 in 20 overs. Ronchi remained unbeaten on 21(11). Anderson was the top-scorer with 34 off 42 balls. Ashwin, Bumrah, Nehra, Raina, Jadeja all chipped in with a wicket each.
A target of 127 never appeared to be much for a strong Indian batting unit on a pitch which was difficult to bat on but not unplayable. But what followed was the rarest of sights in Indian batting history. Indian batsmen fell like a pack of cards in front of three kiwi spinners. New Zealand’s strategy of playing three spinners was being criticized prior to the beginning of the match. But the trio of Santner, McCullum and Sodhi defeated all odds to produce such a magical spell of spin bowling.
Nathan McCullum struck first blood as he removed Dhawan in the very first over of the match. Then it was followed by Rohit and Raina who fell to Santner in the 3rd over of the innings. And then, the procession continued. Kohli and Dhoni were the only batsmen who looked comfortable at the crease but fell short of partners. Kohli scored 23(27) while Dhoni tried his best till the end top-scoring with 30 off 30 balls. India were bowled out for 79 in 18.1 overs. Santner was the most impressive of the kiwi bowlers with figures of 4-11 in 4 overs. Ish Sodhi picked up 3 wickets while Nathan McCullum picked up two. Mitchell Santner was declared the Man of the Match as New Zealand won comprehensively by 47 runs.
New Zealand won the toss and chose to field
New Zealand: 126/7- 20 Overs ( Anderson 34 ; Bumrah 1-15)
India- 79 all out – 18.1 Overs ( Dhoni 30; Santner 4-11)
New Zealand won by 47 runs.
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