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Rohit, Dhawan fire as India give Nehra a fitting farewell

Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Rohit Sharma (right) scored 80 runs each
Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Rohit Sharma (right) scored 80 runs each
©REUTERS
 

India 202-3 (Dhawan 80) beat
New Zealand 149-8 (Latham 39) by 53 runs
First Twenty20 International in Delhi
Scorecard

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma scored 80 runs apiece as India overpowered New Zealand by 53 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Delhi to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl first on what was Ashish Nehra's final game of his career. After a cautious start of two runs in the first over, Dhawan (80) slammed a couple of boundaries in the second over and was also handed a reprieve.

Rohit (80), who was going at run a ball launched six to signal his intentions as India ended the powerplay strong at 46 for naught. New Zealand continued to remain sloppy on the field as they dropped another catch, this time to Rohit and at the halfway mark, India were 80 for naught.

Dhawan was the first to reach his fifty off 37 deliveries and few deliveries later, the 100-run opening stand also came. Dhawan struck two sixes and a four in the next two overs but Rohit plundered another six and followed it with two boundaries in the 15th over to reach his fifty.

The 158 run stand finally ended when Ish Sodhi (2-25) had Dhawan caught behind and two deliveries later, he also had Hardik Pandya (0) caught behind. Rohit continued the onslaught in the end overs and a 11-ball unbeaten cameo from Virat Kohli (26 not out) ensured India reached 202 for three in their 20 overs.

In the chase, New Zealand struggled and lost both their openers Martin Guptill (4) and Colin Munro (7) early. Even though Kane Williamson (28) and Tom Latham (39) tried to rebuild, New Zealand were never into the chase as the required run rate climbed high.

Mitchell Santner's (27 not out) 14-ball knock at the end helped them reduce the losing margin down to 53 runs but their confidence would have dented a bit as India dominated the game to claim a 1-0 lead in the series. Dhawan was named the man of the match for his brilliant knock that set up India's win.

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