India defeated New Zealand by 6 wickets in the first T20 of the five-match T20 series at Eden Park, Auckland. After Indian won the toss and decided to bowl first, New Zealand managed to post a mammoth 203 runs on the board for the loss of five wickets.
The visitors chasing a huge total on a good batting wicket made it look easy and overhauled the total with one over to spare. It was a clinical performance from the Blues as they comprehensively beat the hosts to start the long tour on a high note. Here, we are going to take a look at the three standout players from the game.
#3 Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor came into bat when New Zealand were losing momentum and had lost three quick wickets in the form of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, and Colin de Grandhomme. So, Taylor not only had to hold onto one end but also to keep the run rate going, which is exactly what he did.
Scoring 54 from 27 balls, with three fours and three sixes, Taylor showed exactly why he is a renowned middle-order batsman. Quite surprisingly, it was the New Zealander's first half-century in T20 cricket in 6 years. Unfortunately though, it wasn't enough for a Kiwi win.
#2 KL Rahul
KL Rahul is currently playing like a man possessed. Chasing a mammoth total, India lost Rohit Sharma early, which meant the onus was on Rahul to deliver and he did exactly that.
He smashed the New Zealand bowling department to all parts, scoring 56 from 27 balls, with four fours and three sixes. Him and Virat Kohli stitched together a match-winning partnership and although Rahul couldn't take his team home, he laid the perfect foundation.
All in all, it was another match-winning contribution from the Karnataka batsman that we are all getting accustomed to.
#1 Shreyas Iyer
When two set batsmen Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were dismissed very quickly, it looked like the hosts will claw their way back into the game. But Shreyas Iyer made sure that never materialised as he played some fearless cricket, which would have made the management very happy.
He was the man of the match and rightly so as he scored 58 runs from 29 balls, with five fours and three sixes. He remained unbeaten and saw his team through. These kinds of quickfire innings from Iyer has become a norm now, ever since he made his way into India's limited-overs team. As of right now, it looks like India have found their long term number four.