Mark Chapman scored 63 runs off 50 balls in the first T20I vs India.© AFP
New Zealand batter Mark Chapman achieved a rare feat during the first T20I international against India at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday. His knock of 63 off just 50 balls saw him become the first player to score half-centuries for two different countries in the shortest format of the game. Chapman had scored a half-century for Hong Kong during in a game against Oman in 2015. He had scored an unbeaten 63 off 41 in the third T20I of a three-match series.
India defeated New Zealand by five wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Wednesday. After winning the toss, newly-appointed India T20I skipper Rohit Sharma opted to bowl in Jaipur.
New Zealand got off to a poor start after Bhuvneshwar Kumar castled Daryl Mitchell for a golden-ball duck. Martin Guptill and Chapman, however, steadied their ship, putting together 109 runs for the second wicket.
Chapman smashed six boundaries and two sixes before he was castled by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 14th over. Guptill, however, continued his onslaught and took the Kiwis to a commendable total of 164/6 in 20 overs.
In reply, India got off to flying start with Rohit and his deputy KL Rahul adding 50 runs in the first five overs. Mitchell Santner provided New Zealand with their first breakthrough as he dismissed Rahul for 15 in the final over of the powerplay.
Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav then added 59 runs for the second wicket before the former fell short of his fifty by two runs. Suryakumar, however, went on to notch his fifty as India edged closer to victory.
His dismissal in the 17th over saw New Zealand storm back into the game. With India needing 10 runs off the final over, debutant Venkatesh Iyer and Rishabh Pant smashed a boundary each as India managed to cross the line with two balls to spare.
India are missing a host of players, including Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, who have been rested for the entire series. The second T20I will be played in Ranchi on Friday.
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