WELLINGTON – India crashed to their worst ever Twenty20 defeat when an aggressive 84 by Tim Seifert set New Zealand up for an 80 run win in Wellington on Wednesday.
Seifert and Colin Munro blazed away at the top of the innings as New Zealand, looking to bounce back after being outplayed in the recent one-day international series, posted their third highest Twenty20 total of 219.
India were all out in reply for 139 with four balls remaining, in only the eighth time they have failed to bat through in a 20-over innings.
Their previous worst defeat was by 49 runs against Australia at Bridgetown in 2010.
Seifert, whose previous best innings in eight internationals was an unbeaten 14 on debut, gave New Zealand a flying start.
With Munro also lashing out, they put on 86 in 50 balls for the first wicket before Munro fell for 34.
Seifert had a life on 71 when dropped on the boundary by Dinesh Karthik and added a further 13 runs before he was bowled by Khaleel Ahmed.
His 43 ball innings included seven fours and six sixes.
Kane Williamson added a vital 34 to the New Zealand cause and there were enterprising cameos late in the innings from Ross Taylor with 23 off 14 and an unbeaten 20 from seven deliveries by Scott Kuggeleijn.
Faced with batting at 11 an over, India faltered from the start when Rohit Sharma went for one.
Shikhar Dhawan blazed away with a quick 29, but five wickets fell for 26 runs in 33 deliveries once he was bowled by Lockie Ferguson.
MS Dhoni (39) and Krunal Pandya (20) arrested the slide with a 52-run partnership before the last three wickets fell for 10 runs.
Tim Southee, who was dropped for the last three ODI’s against India, marked his return to the side with three for 17 off his four overs.
The second match in the series is in Auckland on Friday.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)