IND vs NZ: IND wins by a massive 168 runs!

Gill sets up record demolition of NZ. India's margin of victory was the biggest in a T20I involving two Full-Member teams

  • Sinchan Saha | February 1, 2023 | 11:09 pm

IND vs NZ, 3rd T20I: India 234 for 4 (Gill 126*, Tripathi 44, Pandya 30) beat New Zealand 66 (Mitchell 35, Pandya 4-16, Malik 2-9, Mavi 2-12, Arshdeep 2-16) by 168 runs

Shubman Gill’s year is this one. We are simply residing there. He started the second by becoming the fifth Indian to score hundreds in all three international formats, adding to his three ODI centuries in the first month of the year. India bowled New Zealand out for 66 in an innings that was nearly flawless, with Gill anchoring at a rate of two runs per ball and India playing near-perfectly around him.

Image Source: NDTV Sports

The highest margin of victory in any T20I between two Full-Member teams was India’s 168 runs, which was the most.

India bowled when the ball moved around, which was not by accident. Even though his team had won the IPL final chasing, Hardik Pandya decided to bat first because the ball moved more during the night in that match. India was able to make the most of the conditions for batting before getting just enough help in the night to reduce New Zealand to 7 for 4 and 21 for 5. It turned out to be the right decision.

India maintained their unbeaten home series record since March 2019 with the come-from-behind victory.


The powerplay symphony

When New Zealand made the decision to bowl first and used Michael Bracewell to take the wicket of Ishan Kishan, they saw immediate results, but that was their last happy moment. It brought Gill and Rahul Tripathi together, one batter with great control and the other making use of his intent. Gill caressed Lockie Ferguson through the covers as Tripathi ramped up the short fine. Tripathi bludgeoned and ramped Ferguson in the sixth over, whereas Gill took Blair Tickner apart with what appeared to be paper cuts in the fifth over. At the end of the powerplay, India were 58 for 1, with Gill scoring 34 on 20 shots and Tripathi scoring 20 on 13.

Image Source: ESPN Cricinfo

Tripathi races away

Gill put in a great innings, but Tripathi also deserves some credit for India’s performance. Gill scored just 16 runs off the first 15 balls he faced after the powerplay for his first T20I fifty thanks to him and, in part, Suryakumar Yadav.

Tripathi, the intent monster, played around with bowling that wasn’t really bad while Gill took his time in the middle overs. In the middle overs, he scored 24 runs on the nine balls he faced, fulfilling precisely his role: score quickly in the powerplay, and try to score faster without worrying about his wicket.

Suryakumar scored 24 runs out of 13, including a six off Ish Sodhi that was slog-swept, to leave India with 125 for 3 in the 13th over.

The Gill show

Pandya made 30 runs off 17 balls, but he never looked more like a spectator than he did at the end of this innings. When Suryakumar’s wicket fell, Ferguson came back and bowled short to try and get the bigger square boundaries into play. The boundaries were insufficiently broad. In the fourteenth over, Gill pulled him for a six and a four.

Image Source: ESPN Cricinfo

Gill played the pick-up and the whip for sixes off length balls, and debutant Ben Lister, who had bowled well up until that point, bowled an ordinary 16th over. Additionally, Tickner’s legcutters failed to grip, and he was driven and pulled for sixes. Gill reached his century, a 50-to-100 increase in just 19 balls, after Ferguson attempted to go fuller only to be driven wide mid-off.

Gill hit two excellent deliveries for fours in the 19th. Lister nailed the yorker, but Gill drove it all the way along the ground, straight of long-on, after he missed his length by six inches. The juicy full toss had no chance if this was happening to good balls; it would have gone wide long-on.

One of only three overs in the innings without a boundary was bowled by Daryl Mitchell in the final over, which he did exceptionally well to only concede six runs. In just 40 balls, Gill and Pandya added 103 runs. To challenge the total, New Zealand now required the pitch’s complete flatness and dew.

Fast bowlers kill the chase

When Pandya the bowler caught Finn Allen at slip in the first over, he immediately proved Pandya the captain wrong. Arshdeep Singh defeated Devon Conway and Mark Chapman in the second over to go one better. Chapman’s edge appeared to be taken by the length ball, which would have been appropriate for a Test match.

Glenn Phillips and Pandya repeated the dismissal of Allen: shorter than a length, with more bounce and movement, and the same overhead catch at slip for the jumping Suryakumar. With only half of their wickets remaining, New Zealand still needed 214 when Umran Malik beat a hoick from Bracewell in the fifth over.

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After that, Mitchell and Mitchell Santner added 32 runs for the sixth wicket; however, when Santner fell, the game came to an abrupt end.