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Ind 166-4 after 20 overs
Dhoni 22 (23), Rohit 4 (2)
This one time Dhoni did leave it too late. He never managed to get going and the partnership between Dhoni and Yuvraj put India in a tight spot. They never managed to recover. Good win for them and their medium-pacers did the trick. Yuvraj is back and he looked good but he’s still not at his best hopefully the practice matches will help with that. The last 5 overs made the difference in the end. While New Zealand got 52 in last 5, India could manage only 37.
Ind 162-4 after 19.4 overs
Yuvraj Singh b Franklin 34 (26b, 1×4, 2×6)
Bowled him. Yuvraj is bowled. 34 off 26. Not bad, not bad at all for a start. Slower ball did the trick.
Ind 155-3 after 19 overs
Yuvraj Singh 34, Dhoni 17
India need 13 off the last over to win the match. One big six from Yuvraj turned things around and gave India a chance.
Ind 143-3 after 18 overs
Yuvraj Singh 27, Dhoni 14
India need 25 runs off 12 balls to win the match. Can they get them?
Ind 135-3 after 17 overs
Yuvraj Singh 25, Dhoni 9
The odd singles, the pull shot, the drive through the covers, Yuvraj has shown us his all. India require another 32 runs with 7 wickets and 18 balls remaining. This partnership has been worth 16 off 22 balls.
Ind 120-3 after 13.2 overs
V Kohli c sub (TG Southee) b Franklin 70 (41b, 10×4, 1×6)
Kohli’s innings end. He made 70. Good catch in the deep but great knock. Franklin strikes. India are in position to win this easily. Kohli was trying to go wide of the long-off fielder but Southee covered good ground.
Most runs in int’l cricket in 2012: 1732-K Sangakkara (avg 49.48),1718- V KOHLI (66.07),1466- H Amla (73.30),1452- T Dilshan (37.23) #IndvNZ
— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) सितम्बर 11, 2012
Ind 119-2 after 13 overs
Kohli 70, Yuvraj 19
16 off the over, including a classic well-time six over mid-wicket from Yuvraj Singh. He is back and how! Kohli followed up with another six and New Zealand’s best spinner — Vettori being punished here. India require another 49 runs with 8 wickets and 42 balls remaining.
Ind 103-2 after 12 overs
Kohli 62, Yuvraj 11
Another couple from Yuvraj brings up the 100 for India. Second fifty of the innings came off 34 balls. After playing a sublime backfoot drive, he top-edges one. McCullum makes good ground and so does Mills, they both have their eyes on the ball and end up clashing. Mills hurt pretty badly. Yuvraj survives.
Ind 86-2 after 10.2 overs
S Raina c Taylor b Mills 27 (22b, 2×4, 1×6)
Raina falls. India 86-2. Slower ball does the trick. Pretty slow innings by Raina standards. Yuvraj is in next and the crowds went absolutely nuts. What kind of cricket will he play?
Ind 74-1 after 9 overs
Kohli 52, Raina 19
Wow. Is there going to be no stopping Kohli. He gets his second T20I fifty off just 30 balls and once again, he has made it look easy.
Ind 57-1 after 7 overs
Kohli 43, Raina 11
Raina lucky to still be here. He was dropped by Milne off the last ball of the 6th over. But Kohli is looking pretty settled. If India has wickets in hand, they will get this. India require another 111 runs with 9 wickets and 13.0 overs remaining.
Ind 43-1 after 5 overs
Kohli 34, Raina 6
Kohli is striking the ball superbly. He has the timing and placement down to perfection today and is not forgetting to take the odd single either. Required rate is 8.33 for India.
Ind 26-1 after 3 overs
G Gambhir c & b Mills 3 (6b)
Gambhir gone for 3. He just tapped it back to Mills. Good catch, taken low. Gambhir walks away shaking his head. The ball seemed to stop off the pitch a bit. Raina is in next.
Ind 8-0 after 1 over
Gambhir 1, Kohli 7
Quick, solid start by India. Kohli looks comfortable. Gambhir played just one ball. New Zealand will need wickets if they are to have any chance of winning.
Ind 0-0 after 0 overs
Gambhir 0, Kohli 0
Kohli opening the innings with Gambhir #cricket #IndvNZ
NZ 167-5 after 20 overs
Taylor 25, Oram 18
Good knock by McCullum and the others played around him. They had a poor start and were 2-2 at one stage but they played pretty well. The conditions aren’t very easy but this should be a good match. Do they have enough? Well, we’ll know in a bit. Pathan bowled decently for India — he got 3-31.
NZ 156-5 after 19 overs
Taylor 21, Oram 11
One over remains. NZ have a decent total on board but will it be enough against the strong Indian batting line-up? A big over here could change things big time.
NZ 142-5 after 17.2 overs
J Franklin c Yuvraj Singh b Balaji 1 (2b)
Franklin gone, Yuvi took the catch off another slower ball, this time from Balaji. The off-spinner did the trick and the resulting top-edge was easily taken.
NZ 139-4 after 16.4 overs
B McCullum b Pathan 91 (55b, 11×4, 3×6)
Slower ball from Irfan, McCullum gets his timing wrong and it goes off his pad on to the stumps. It was an odd sort of slower ball, seemed to come out of the back of his hand.
NZ 128-3 after 16 overs
McCullum 87, Taylor 9
Tremendous hitting from McCullum. But it isn’t wild slogging. He is pretty much picking his spot. 13 runs came off the last over from Kohli.
NZ 115-3 after 15 overs
McCullum 78, Taylor 5
Big over for the Kiwis. They managed to get 15 runs off it and they sure can do with a few more of these. McCullum once again causing the damage, his footwork has been superb. Ashwin hasn’t looked very good today.
NZ 100-3 after 14 overs
McCullum 66, Taylor 3
Slight slow down for the Kiwis. They need to go pretty mad in the last 6 overs.
NZ 92-3 after 12.3 overs
KS Williamson c Ashwin b Pathan 28 (26b, 3×4)
Ashwin takes a good catch, running backwards from short fine leg. Pathan’s short ball kept going away from the batsman and Williamson never got the timing right after having to fetch it from wide outside the off-stump. The partnership was worth 90 runs in 11.0 overs. Ross Taylor is in next.
NZ 87-2 after 12 overs
McCullum 56, Williamson 28
Another good over for New Zealand. They got 9 runs off it. Kohli was surprisingly into the attack, maybe Dhoni have been forced into this with Yuvi off the field. but he has Raina and Rohit in the team too.
NZ 78-2 after 11 overs
McCullum 54, Williamson 21
50 for McCullum, it came off just 32 balls including 6 fours and 2 sixes. He is using his feet well and that prompted Dhoni to come up to the stumps for Balaji too.
NZ 69-2 after 10 overs
McCullum 46, Williamson 20
After a slow start, NZ have found their rhythm. The partnership is already worth 67 runs in 8.3 overs. Great batting by McCullum but Williamson has done his part too.
NZ 58-2 after 9 overs
McCullum 37, Williamson 18
Some nice shots by McCullum in that over. But the six hit straight over Yuvraj’s head stood out. McCullum waltzed down the pitch and smashed it. Then he smashed another one straight back at the bowler, Yuvi got his hand to it but it just didn’t stick. Yuvi was in a lot of pain and has had to go off the ground for treatment.
NZ 48-2 after 8 overs
McCullum 29, Williamson 16
Another 8 run over for New Zealand. McCullum is off and running and India will be hoping to get him before he goes completely nuts.
NZ 40-2 after 7 overs
McCullum 24, Williamson 13
Four runs off Yuvraj Singh’s first over back. Not bad at all. He beat the batsmen a few times and looked pretty good. You couldn’t wipe the smile of Yuvraj’s face if you tried.
NZ 36-2 after 6 overs
McCullum 22, Williamson 11
Another decent over. Two fours off the over, both came off McCullum’s bat. But Balaji looked pretty good. It was his first match for India since 2009.
NZ 28-2 after 5 overs
McCullum 14, Williamson 11
This counts as a recovery by T20 standards. McCullum is finding his touch and making the most of the field restrictions. NZ got 13 off the last over. The duo have put on 26 runs in 3.3 overs.
NZ 15-2 after 4 overs
McCullum 2, Williamson 10
Superb fielders in the infield for India. Tiwary, Rohit, Kohli and Raina. Yuvi at square leg. Williamson has been trying to hit shots on the up but the pitch is giving some help the bowlers. Not the easiest task.
NZ 6-2 after 2 overs
McCullum 0, Williamson 4
Williamson comes in and hit a four but New Zealand need an over or two to rebuild and re-evaluate. This may not be a 200-run wicket. It’s more a 160-170 wicket at the most.
NZ 2-2 after 1.3 overs
MJ Guptill b Pathan 1 (5b)
Guptill swings across the line, missed, Pathan gets India another wicket. This is not looking good for NZ.
NZ 2-1 after 1 over
RJ Nicol b Khan 0 (4b)
Bowled. Zaheer gets the first wicket. Nicol walked too far across the stumps and missed the ball completely. Ball is moving around a bit.
Yuvi on the ground
The crowd going absolutely nuts. They chant Yuvi’s name. Zaheer has the new ball to begin things for India. He isn’t fielding at point though, he begins his second innings at square leg.
Wow. India have played just 4 T20I’s at home and 31 away.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first. It will be interesting to see who opens the innings for India as Virender Sehwag is missing out due to injury. Dhoni didn’t really say what’s wrong with Sehwag but it means India will have to experiment. Interesting time indeed.
Dhoni: We have a good fielding side and that can make a huge difference in this format. Sehwag injured, Bhajji not playing as well. Yuvraj gets a game.
Ross Taylor: We have Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori all back in the team.
NZ squad: Guptill, McCullum (wk), Taylor (capt), KS Williamson, RJ Nicol, Oram, Vettori, Franklin, R Hira, AF Milne, K Mills
India squad: G Gambhir, V Kohli, SK Raina, Yuvraj Singh, RG Sharma, MK Tiwary, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), IK Pathan, R Ashwin, Z Khan, L Balaji
It’s finally time for Yuvraj Singh to make his way back on to the fields in the India colours. Regardless of what he achieves in his first game back, the crowd will cheer him on every step on the way. And for a man who didn’t know when he would make his way back on to the ground, his return has been inspirational.
But that’s not the only story that will play out. Harbhajan Singh is back in the squad as well and it will be interesting to see if he gets a game. Indian skipper sure would love to give one to him.
The batting isn’t much of a worry and neither is the format. Most of the Indian players have played more than enough T20 cricket thanks to the IPL and mentally, they will already be preparing for the World T20 in Sri Lanka, which begins on September 18.
The visitors may hold an edge statistically having won all their three T20 ties against India, but the hosts will still start as favourites after their 2-0 sweep in the Test series.
Read the full story here.