It was certainly the chase. It is often tough to read a pitch where a team has never set a foot it. In fact, both teams were unaware of the conditions but India had the advantage to send New Zealand to bat first and asses the conditions. In T20 cricket, there is no enough time to assess, plan and execute, teams are forced to throw in without much caution and on a such pitch, there is no catching and building up.
However, if New Zealand could have only reached 140, which doesn’t much in a T20 game, they would have been the favorites to win the game. After all, it was only fourth time in history that we watched an international men’s T20 game with any six scored. This doesn’t happen often and rarely so in the environment modern cricket is played.
It was a challenging pitch but New Zealand were too poor with the bat. The are vulnerable spin attack and it was clearly visible in their approach. They could only score 99 runs in 20 overs, the highest scorer for the team was Mitchell Santner who scored 19 runs off 23 balls.
Mark Chapman and Michael Bracewell, both scored 14 runs with a strike rate of around 63. Clearly, they struggled to make an attacking move throughout the first innings. Indian spinners had their nose ahead in the game, Hardik Pandya understood the pitch as fast as he could and decided to go all attacking with spinners.
Their prime fast bowlers only bowled 3 overs together and with the introduction of spin in this fourth over, things seemed to tough for the New Zealand batters. In his first over, Yuzi Chahal dismissed Fin Allen, then in the next over, Devon Conway was dismissed by Washington Sundar.
From thereon spinners dominated the whole game with Sundar, Chahal, Kuldeep and Hooda all getting a wicket each with economy of 6 runs per over. Arshdeep Singh was called to bowl in death overs with tail enders at strike. He picked two wickets which will elevate his confidence.
India has nervy start of the chase. Shubman Gill lost his wicket early on and Ishan Kishan departed after taking 32 balls to score 19 runs. New Zealand spinners kept Indian batsmen on their toes, with Bracewell taking 1 wicket for only 13 runs. New Zealand spinners could only take two wickets, Sundar and Kishan were victims of runout.
Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya took the innings deep and made sure that India makes the home run. Yadav scored 26 off 31 with one boundary which came of second last ball of 20th over.