Sobering opener for champions
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:India v New Zealand
Player:LRPL Taylor, SB Styris, JEC Franklin, DL Vettori, I Sharma, SK Raina, RG Sharma, RA Jadeja
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 2nd June 2009


India wasted a supreme start and lost the plot towards the end of their chase to concede a nine-run defeat to New Zealand.


Chasing a challenging 171 to win, India were propelled by some breathtaking knocks from the willows of Rohit Sharma (36 from 20 balls), Suresh Raina (45 off 24 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (41 not out) and at many stages looked like they would cruise to victory before eventually succumbing to 161 for six.


India were off to a brilliant start with Rohit Sharma wasting little time to get going in his new role of an opener.


The right-hander hit O'Brien for a boundary in his first over but the worst for the bowler was still to come. He bled 18 runs in his second with Rohit hitting him for two massive sixes and a four with a stamp of authority over all the shots.


The opening stand had yielded 42 runs inside five overs and it was clear who was calling the shots by then. Then Gautam Gambhir (14) fell to Ian Butler but Rohit swatted James Franklin for another six to signal he was not perturbed.


Then Daniel Vettori brought himself in and India suddenly found himself in a spot of bother as the Kiwi skipper struck twice in his first over.


Coming at number three, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6) advanced so far down the track that even a fumbling Brendon McCullum had the time to dislodge the bails. Rohit then fell two balls later as he fluffed a shot and the ball rolled on to hit the stumps.


Fortunately for India, Raina seemed to continue from where he left his franchisee Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. The southpaw hit the Kiwi skipper for two sixes in a row and followed it with a four.


Then again wickets fell as Jacob Oram removed Raina in the 15th over and Vettori caught Yusuf Pathan (2) off his own bowling. The Kiwis then put a brake on boundaries with some lethal bowling at death that proved decisive.


Earlier, New Zealand overcame a shaky start and some good bowling from Ishant to reach a competitive total with Taylor (41), McCullum (31), Styris (29) and James Franklin (27 not out off 10 balls) doing good with the bat.


Inspite of two swashbuckling batsmen McCullum and Jesse Ryder (2) opening the innings for the Kiwis, New Zealand had a rather slow start after India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni put them in on a good true track.


Ryder had a poor outing in IPL and seemed nothing changed here as the left-hander had his off-stump uprooted by Ishant Sharma in the third over of the innings.


At the other end, McCullum often tried to unsettle the Indian bowling, but was only occassionaly successful. Just when he started to look dangerous, the right-hander miscued a skier to become his Knight Riders teammate Ishant Sharma's second victim.


Taylor seemed to continue his good form and looked as though he was out to take a revenge on his final opponent of the IPL. He hit Pragyan Ojha, the DC bowler for back-to-back sixes but the big-turning left-arm spinner also came back in the same over to send back Martin Guptill (10).


Taylor had his share of luck as well and the right-hander got a reprieve when Dhoni dropped a thick edge off Harbhajan Singh.


Ishant returned to remove Jacob Oram (5) but Taylor found an able ally in Styris and the duo nosed ahead till the 16th over when Harbhajan removed Taylor with R P Singh taking a well-judged catch in the deep.


Taylor's 33-ball knock included two sixes apart from three boundaries. Ishant was the pick of the bowlers as the lanky right-armer finished with a figures of 4-0-25-4.


Down the order, Franklin (27 not out off 10 balls) hit RP Singh for two successive sixes, followed by a four, to push the score.