Our event of the day is the first T20 fixture between New Zealand and India at the Wellington Regional Stadium. The two sides come into this three-game T20 series following a comprehensive 4-1 victory for India in the five-game ODI series. Captain Rohit Sharma, standing in at the helm for rested regular Virat Kohli, will look to lead India to a continuation of their winning ways against the Kiwis. It’s sure to be an exciting game. New Zealand will hope for a reversal of fortunes when they step onto the pitch today. They enter this first T20 fixture following a 4-1 ODI series loss in the first part of this short Indian tour of the island nation. Captain Kane Williamson tried to lead his team by example, but after scoring 64 runs in the first ODI, he only managed 98 runs across the next four matches combined. There were some standout performances, such as Doug Bracewell’s 57 runs in the second ODI and Ross Taylor’s 93 in the third but overall, New Zealand has underperformed as a team. Williamson’s 64 in the first ODI was 40 runs more than the next highest scorer for the Black Caps and six of their batters failed to even break 10 runs.
Meanwhile, India seemed to have much more team cohesion. Shikhar Dhawan hit consecutive half-centuries in the first two ODIs before dramatically slumping through the final three. Rohit Sharma, who will captain India through these T20s after Virat Kohli was rested, hit half-centuries in the second and third ODIs. The only hiccup for India was the fourth ODI, where the batting collapsed and they were all out for 92. Yuzvendra Chahal’s 14 runs was the highest score for any single batsmen for India that day. India’s core bowlers did what they needed to do in four of the five matches, holding the opposition to easily attainable targets for their batters or stymied them well before they became a threat in the chase. The two sides last met for a T20 series in November 2017, towards the end of a New Zealand tour of India. Sharma and Dhawan both hit 80 in the first match of that series, contributing to a 53-run victory for India. New Zealand will look to avoid a repeat of that result, especially as they have only won three of their last nine T20 matches. It’s going to be a hard fought day of cricket in Wellington so be sure you don’t miss it.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League, where Everton host Manchester City at Goodison Park. City have a chance to top the table for the first time since December 4th. A win would tie them on points with Liverpool and put them in first on goal difference. Meanwhile, Everton will be looking to recover from two defeats in their last three games. A 1-0 win over Huddersfield came between a loss to Millwall in the FA Cup and a loss to Wolves in the league. The Toffees find themselves in 9th and are hoping to improve on an 8th place finish last season. With City so close to reclaiming the top spot in the league, we are going to be in for an exciting match tonight. Elsewhere, in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors host the San Antonio Spurs at the Oracle Arena. In snooker, the World Grand Prix continues in Cheltenham. In ATP tennis, the Sofia Open continues at the Armeec Arena.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by ICC Cricket
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