Seifert stars for New Zealand and sets up India's heaviest T20 defeat

By Sports Desk February 06, 2019

New Zealand inflicted India's biggest Twenty20 defeat as Tim Seifert's 84 and a shared effort with the ball helped the Black Caps to a dominant 80-run win on Wednesday.

Opening batsman Seifert - whose previous highest T20I score was 14 - made his runs from just 43 balls as the home side posted a daunting 219-6 in Wellington, the largest total in the format at Westpac Stadium.

India, fresh from a 4-1 triumph in the ODI series, never looked like troubling that score despite MS Dhoni's measured 39 off 31 deliveries.

Tim Southee (3-17) was chief protagonist with the ball, while Lockie Ferguson (2-22), Mitchell Santner (2-24) and Ish Sodhi (2-26) played their part in dismissing India for 139.

Seifert was in turbo mode from the off, putting on 86 for the opening wicket with Colin Munro (34 off 20).

He had already whacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six by the time Krunal Pandya was swept into the grandstand over backward square-leg.

Back-to-back maximums off the same bowler followed in the 11th over, at the end of which he was wastefully put down by Dinesh Karthik running in from long-on.

Seifert's electric knock, which included seven fours and six sixes, finally came to an end courtesy of a Khaleel Ahmed yorker, but contributions of 34 and 23 from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor boosted the tally.

India lost Rohit Sharma early when his attempted pull off Southee found the safe hands of Ferguson at deep square-leg. 

A 33-run stand between Shikhar Dhawan (29) and Vijay Shankar (27) was ended when Ferguson bowled the former, before Southee and Sodhi tore into the middle order as Rishabh Pant, Karthik and Hardik Pandya all failed to get going. 

Dhoni struck five fours and a six and put on 52 with Krunal Pandya but Southee accounted for both men as the Black Caps cantered to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

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    David Warner was also heckled by fans in their first match against England since returning from a one-year suspension for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

    Smith, who made 116 from 102 balls a week before Australia start their World Cup defence against Afghanistan, was unfazed by the abuse he received.

    "I heard a few things as I went out to bat, but it didn't really get to me. I'm kind of just trying to keep my head down and move straight ahead and just do my job," Smith said.

    "Fortunately, I was able to score a few runs for the team and, more importantly, spend some time in the middle before our first game of the World Cup."

    Smith added: "It doesn't bother me, it's just doing my job and I know that I've got the support of my team-mates up on the balcony and that's the most important thing. If I can make them proud out in the middle and make Australians proud as much as I can, well, that's my job.

    "I just blank it out. They call it white noise. When I am out there I pay no attention to the crowd and just move on with playing the game."

    Smith said he had not been on the receiving end of hostility from the public in England prior to the match at the home of Hampshire.

    "No, it's been really good I haven't copped any which is really nice. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion and how they want to treat people, but it is water off a duck's back," he said. 

    "I'll just do my own thing and just keep working hard to play hard."

    England were all out for 285 in the final over in reply to 297-9, with concerns over a foot injury suffered by Mark Wood. Jofra Archer also suffered an injury scare but was able to bat.

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