Ashish Nehra during lap of honour    AFP
Ashish Nehra during lap of honour AFP

India won their first ever T20I against New Zealand in Ashish Nehra‘s last assignment in international cricket. Although Nehra went wicketless in his swansong, the Delhi crowd was in tears when the veteran took the lap of honour. This and more in CricketCountry’s highlights of the day.

Nehra has moist eyes

When the Indian team stood for the national anthem, Nehra had moist eyes. Perhaps the feeling of playing the last match for his country sunk in. The fans, too, had an emotional moment.

Highest partnership for India

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan bludgeoned 158 runs, surpassing Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir’s 136-run stand. Such is their friendship that they scored 80 each.

Dhawan fired on all cylinders right away, while Rohit took time to get into his elements. Playing at his home ground, Dhawan was lucky to have faced deliveries either on his legs or away from his body. And the kind of mood Dhawan was in, there was no way he could have squandered. He raced to his third T20I fifty in 37 deliveries.

With Dhawan going full throttle, Rohit took chances and used the long handle to blasting effect. He was lucky to have dropped at long-off, but it is T20 anyway: Rohit went berserk and reached his 12th fifty. In addition he now has hit the most sixes by an India in the format.

King Kohli

Kohli looked at Rohit and laughed. Both were in disbelief as to how did Kohli hit that big. The ball landed in the second tier. Kohli had no option. India were in the death overs, and the platform was already set. He sent another one soaring into the stands: this time it was a typical Kohli pull. He remained unbeaten on 26 off 11.

Dhoni joins laughter

Dhoni replayed the shot to show Kohli how he executed it, although they could not believe the distance the ball travelled. It was somewhere in the orbit.

New Zealand drop catches

Yes, you read that right. New Zealand dropped as many as 3 catches. A team reputed for their spectacular fielding dropped Dhawan, Rohit, and Kohli. Culprit were Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, and Martin Guptill.

India drop Nehra’s glory

When will Nehra get a wicket? How will he celebrate? Will he stretch his arms and move like an aeroplane? Who will be his victims? When will that moment come? When?

Ashish Nehra began from the Ashish Nehra end.

Hardik Pandya ran behind. He looked in control. Nehra fixed his eyes on Pandya and then dropped his shoulders. Pandya could not hold on to it. Nehra was kept waiting.

Kohli brought Nehra back into the attack for one-over spell. Nehra started off with off-cutters. With the ball coming onto the bat nicely, change in pace was an effective option. The impatient Williamson came down the track and tried to clear Kohli at mid-on, but he failed to connect. Kohli gave his all, but he could only get fingers to the ball. Nehra was deprived of a wicket, yet again.

Hardik takes a blinder

A full-length dive at the boundary line, to his right, in the air, and he grabbed it with both hands. Had this been a different era, this would have been the catch of the century?

Kohli, Dhawan carry a winsome Nehra on their shoulders

The last time an Indian cricketer got a farewell match and was lifted on shoulders by his teammates was Sachin Tendulkar. No one had expected that the next man to receive such honour would be Nehra.

After completing one set of lap of honour, Nehra’s Delhi mates, Kohli and Dhawan, lifted him to celebrate a 19-year career. Nehra smiled that wide smile was the highlight of match.