Tim Seifert smashed an impressive 84-run knock and Tim Southee claimed three wickets as New Zealand thrashed India by 80 runs in the first T20 International at Westpac Stadium to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Chasing a tough target, India were bowled out for 139 in 19.2 overs. MS Dhoni top-scored for India with 39 runs off 31 balls while no other batsman managed to impress much with the willow. Earlier, wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert took the Indian bowling apart blasting 84 off 43 balls as New Zealand posted a commanding 219 for six. The home team was earlier routed 4-1 in the five-match One Day International series.
With the crack opening pair of skipper Rohit Sharma (1) and Shikhar Dhawan (29) departing within the Powerplay overs, the chase became a difficult one and India were all out for 139 in 19.2 overs.
MS Dhoni (39 off 31 balls) did play his part but it was always an impossible chase with wickets falling at regular intervals at the other end. India had never lost a T20 International by 50 or more runs prior to this match. India's previous worst was a 49-run loss to Australia back in 2010.
"We failed to get a good partnership. 200 was never going to be easy to chase," said Rohit in the post-match presentation.
New Zealand bowlers kept the pressure on Indian batsmen, especially the two spinners, left-arm orthodox Mitchell Santner (2/24 in 4 overs) and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (2/26 in 3 overs).
Senior pacer Tim Southee (3/17 in 4 overs) had the best figures among the bowlers and the best delivery of the match was bowled by Lockie Ferguson, who yorked Dhawan. They kept the batsmen under tight check and for some like World Cup aspirant Rishabh Pant (4, 10 balls), it was a frustrating little stay in the middle and he simply couldn't get going.
On a pitch where Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (1/35 in 4 overs) and Krunal (1/37 in 4 overs) went for plenty, the Black Caps slow bowlers literally tightened the noose on the visitors.
While Pant didn't do his chances any good, Vijay Shankar (27 off 17 balls) impressed during his little cameo but would need to do more in order to book a place in that World Cup bound squad.
The Pandya bothers, Krunal and Hardik, endured a contrasting day. While Krunal (he also scored 20 off 18 balls) had an okay outing, Hardik would quickly like to forget the nightmare (2/51 in 4 overs and 4 runs) before India play the second match of the series in Auckland on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)