Daryl Mitchell, the Black Caps’ player of the game, was quick to give credit to the other Mitchell Santner.
In recognition of his crucial contribution with the bat in New Zealand’s 21-run victory over India in their Twenty20 encounter on Saturday morning in Ranchi, Daryl Mitchell received a sizable cardboard check.
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Spinner Mitchell Santner was another strong performer for the winners in the first game of the three-game series.
The left-arm slow bowler took 2-11 from his four overs as India finished their 20 overs at 155-9 in pursuit of New Zealand’s 176-6. He dismissed opener Shubman Gill, who had annihilated the Black Caps bowlers in the hosts’ 3-0 ODI series, bowled a maiden during the power play, and proved practically un-hittable with his accuracy, turn, and bounce.
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“He’s one of the best spinners in world cricket with the white ball at the moment, He keeps proving his class. That was a very special spell by him today and put us in a good position to win, He’s done it a long time for NZ now – very lucky to have him” Daryl Mitchell said of Santner.
“It was definitely challenging at times through the middle”: Daryl Mitchell
When New Zealand batted first, opener Devon Conway (52 from 35 deliveries) and Mitchell (59 not out from 30 deliveries) each scored half-centuries after opening partner Finn Allen scored 35 from 23 deliveries.
In the penultimate over of New Zealand’s innings, delivered by left-arm fast Arshdeep Singh and ending with a costly 27 runs, Mitchell smashed three sixes and a four.
“I think the early partnerships that Finn and Dev did, as well as obviously Glenn Phillips and Dev, allowed us to carry the innings deeper and put some pressure on India towards the conclusion of the innings,” Mitchell said.
“It was all about changing constantly, trying to find ways to put pressure back on their bowlers.” It was really tough through the middle, especially with the spinners – I guess it gave us confidence going into it with the ball that with 180ish on the board if we could bowl really well and build some pressure, and ideally the dew didn’t come down, we’d be in that ballpark” Daryl Mitchell Added.
Santner received excellent help from fellow spinners Ish Sodhi and Michael Bracewell in India’s pursuit, taking a combined 5-72 from 11 overs.
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