Blackcaps v India: New Zealand snap white-ball drought with victory in Twenty20 opener at Ranchi

Half-centuries to opener Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell have steered the Blackcaps to a 21-run victory over India in the opening match of their Twenty20 series at Ranchi.

Mitchell took 27 runs off the final over from Arshdeep Singh, including a seven-run no-ball, to boost his team's batting effort to 176/6, after it seemed to have lost its way through the middle stages.

Then, captain Mitchell Santner produced a miserly spell of 2/11 off four overs with the ball that stalled the India response, while his bowling mates chipped out wickets at regular intervals, leaving the hosts well short at the end.

Conway and Finn Allen had New Zealand off to a solid start, with 43 runs for the first wicket, before Allen fell in the fifth over for 35 off 23 balls. Mark Chapman departed for a duck in that same over, but Conway continued to anchor the innings, putting on 60 runs with Glenn Phillips.

The opener scored 52 off 35 balls, before he was caught off the bowling of Arshdeep, passing the baton to Mitchell.

The strapping allrounder lost Michael Bracewell and Santner in quick succession, but provided the fireworks that gave the Blackcaps some respectability to a batting total that seemed about 20 runs short. Mitchell's 59 runs included five sixes - three of them in that final over. 

India were never able to match the Kiwis' run rate, falling to 15/3 in the fourth over. Opener Subman Gill, who had plundered the NZ attack during the one-day whitewash, managed just seven runs, before he was caught by Allen off Santner's bowling.

Suryakumar Yadav and captain Hardik Pandya combined for a 68-run fourth-wicket stand, before allrounder Washington Sundar was left to bat with the tail, reach his fifty, before he was the last wicket to fall off the penultimate ball of the innings.

Sundar had earlier been the best of the India bowlers with 2/22 off four overs.

"I think it was a shock to everyone how much it spun second innings," said Santner. "We obviously saw a lot of runs in the ODI series, so it was nice to see the ball spin a bit more.

'I don't think we were ever safe at 170-odd. It was nice that Daryl hit a couple of the rope - he batted extremely well and so did Dev.

"We thought we were in with a sniff at 180, but we knew we had to bowl well with the power that India have. It was nice to chip some wickets away in the powerplay, where we struggled in the one-day series."

Still missing several frontline performers, including Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, New Zealand were forced to expose rookie bowlers Jacob Duffy and Blair Tickner, who conceded 50 runs off their combined five overs, but Santner's miserly spell created pressure on the Indian batters.

The two sides face each other next at Lucknow on Monday (NZ time).

New Zealand 176/6 (Mitchell 59no, Conway 52, Allen 35; Sundar 2/22) India 155/9 (Sundar 50, Yadav 47; Santner 2/11)

NZ win by 21 runs