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India secure fourth 200-plus T20I chase, strengthen grip over record

Shreyas Iyer played a key role in the India 200-plus chase
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer hit fifties as India hunted down New Zealand’s 203-5 in the first T20I in Auckland, thereby completing their fourth successful chase of 200 or more in the format.

India have previously achieved 200-plus chases against Sri Lanka (2009), Australia (2013) and West Indies (2019). With their chase of 204 against New Zealand, they have extended their lead over Australia and South Africa, who have chased scores of 200 or more twice each.

In the first innings Colin Munro, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor all hit half-centuries to power New Zealand past 200.

After Rohit Sharma’s early dismissal in the chase, Rahul and Virat Kohli put India on track with a 99-run stand for the second wicket. Following Rahul’s dismissal to Sodhi for a 27-ball 56, India lost wickets in a cluster to slip to 142-4.

But Iyer looked in prime form from the word go. He struck five fours and three sixes in an unbeaten knock of 58 from 29 balls, guiding the visitors home with an over to spare, to hand them an early lead in the five-match series.

This was only India’s second successful run chase against New Zealand in eight attempts. The only other instance had come at the same venue 11 months ago when India scored 162-3 in response to the hosts’ 158-8.

India is also the only team to have scored in excess of 200 while batting second on as many as eight occasions, four times more than England, who are next on the list. Of India’s two defeats while doing so, their effort of 244/4 against West Indies in Florida in 2016 is the highest second-innings total in a losing cause.

The second match of the ongoing series will be played at the same venue on Sunday.

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