India crashed to their worst-ever T20I defeat as an aggressive 84 by Tim Seifert set New Zealand up for an 80-run win in Wellington on Wednesday.
“It was one of those complete performances that you do search for,” beamed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, happy to see his side bounce back from the drubbing inflicted by India in the recent ODI series.
The explosive 86-run opening partnership off 50 deliveries by Seifert and Colin Munro laid the foundations for New Zealand to build their third highest T20 total of 219-6.
India were all out in reply for 139 with four balls remaining, in only the eighth time they have failed to bat through a 20-over innings.
Their previous worst defeat was by 49 runs to Australia at Bridgetown in 2010.
India captain Rohit Sharma could not hide his disappointment, having elected to bowl when he won the toss because chasing a target is his side’s strong suit.
“We were outplayed in all three departments,” he said. “We have chased targets of 200 (plus) before and that’s probably the reason we played with eight batsmen. As a team we have always chased down targets and we believe that whatever target is set in front of us we can do it.
He added: “We were confident of getting that target. It’s a small ground. We just needed that one big partnership which we failed to do.”
Seifert, whose previous best innings in eight T20 internationals was an unbeaten 14 on debut, gave New Zealand a flying start alongside Munro, who fell for 34 off 20.
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.
Williamson added 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 Sharma went for one.
Shikhar Dhawan blazed a quick 29 until he was bowled by Lockie Ferguson and his dismissal ignited a collapse of five wickets for 26 runs in 33 deliveries.
MS Dhoni and Krunal Pandya 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 ODIs against India, marked his return to the side with three for 17 off his four overs.
The second T20I in the three-match series is in Auckland on Friday. India won the preceding ODI series 4-1.