Nagpur, March 15: India, winners of the 2007 T20 World Cup, will take on New Zealand, the current runners-up in the 50-over World Cup, at the VCA Stadium here on Tuesday (March 15) in their first match of the World T20 2016.
This will be the second time these two teams will be meeting in the World T20 and New Zealand have a 1-0 lead. The only time these two teams had met in a T20 World Cup was in the inaugural edition in 2007 which India had eventually won.
It was a Super 8 match played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 16. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field.
McCullum and McMillan blasted Indian bowlers to post a big score
As a group champion, India were favourites to win the match but the two Macs from New Zealand-Brendon McCullum (45 off 31) and Craig McMillan (44 off 23) saw the Kiwis posting a big score of 190 in 20 overs. Except Harbhajan Singh who grabbed two wickets for 24 in his four overs, all other Indian bowlers had a rough day in the field.
Gambhir-Sehwag gave India a dashing start but it then fell apart
Chasing 191, the Indian opening duo of Gautam Gambhir (51 off 33) and Virender Sehwag (40 off 17) gave their team a dream start by scoring 76 in just 5.5 overs. But once Jacob Oram saw the back of Sehwag, India collapsed to 128 for five with all top batsmen getting back into the hut. It became a herculean task from there on though S Sreesanth's 19 off 10 towards the end of the match helped India get very close to the target.
The last wicket partnership between him and R P Singh saw an unbeaten 17 runs as India finished at 180 for 9, losing the match by 10 runs. For the islanders, skipper Daniel Vettori took four wickets for 20 runs to be adjudged the man of the match.
India still made it to the semis as group toppers
This loss, however, could not stop India from advancing to the semifinals as they beat England (Yuvraj Singh's six consecutive sixes!) and South Africa as the champion of the Super 8 group. New Zealand qualified for the semifinals as the second team.