India crash to worst ever T20 defeat

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It may have been his ninth Twenty20 worldwide, but tonight Tim Seifert truly introduced himself on the world stage.

Chasing a record 220-run target, India stumbled to their biggest Twenty20 worldwide defeat, the 80-run loss arriving in pursuit of a 220-run target at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

India came into the contest on the back of a 4-1 victory in the one-day global series but sorely missed the stability offered by regular skipper Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the three T20 matches.

Seifert went on to smash 84 off 43 balls with seven fours and six sixes. Kane Williamson (34) and Ross Taylor (23) chipped in to help New Zealand reach 219/6 in their 20 overs.

Tim Southee is congratulated by team-mates after taking a wicket against India in Wellington.

A couple of catches were dropped including one by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, when Man of the match Tim Seifert hadn't scored much.

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But a searing Lockie Ferguson yorker to get rid of Shikhar Dhawan for a brisk 29 put the visitors back on their heels.

India won the toss and opted to bowl first in the opening Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Wellington on Wednesday.

Vijay Shankar made 27 off 18 and former captain MS Dhoni hung around and hit 39 off 31, but it was a task too tough for even the most expert of finishers.

They didn't get it, Southee finishing with 3-17, with India - who are unbeaten in their last 10 Twenty20 series' - now on the brink of their first series defeat since 2017.

Ferguson (2-22 off four) and Santner (2-24 off four) also returned good figures, while Sodhi finished with 2-26 from his three. "Seifert was excellent", Williamson said. "We had runs on the board, but bowling and fielding were outstanding". They did find it hard to make a clean sweep, however keeping all aside; they are going for an impressive start to the T20 series.

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