On Tuesday there was a glorious moment for Thiruvananthapuram and cricket in Kerala, as the city witnessed an international match after a period of 29 years. And when it did, in its first T20I, the rain interrupted the game but the wait was worth it for the packed crowd at the Green Field Stadium. They not only witness the men in blue winning the game but it was also action-packed match which ended on the last ball of the match.
During the post-match presentation, skipper Virat Kohli was surprised that the venue didn’t witness an international game earlier and also applauded the audience for turning up in huge numbers. He said, “I think we were really happy to get a game. This crowd deserved to watch some action. Ever since the ODIs started, we expected them to give a good fight. We were nervous to start here, with the damp pitch.”
India posted a score of 67/5 after being put in to bat first and the Kiwis could only manage 61 runs in reply – falling short by six runs. Jasprit Bumrah emerged as a crucial for the hosts as they picked two wickets and reduced any chances for a Kiwi fightback with a strong penultimate over.
Praising him, Virat said, “We thought if we can take the run-rate up, it’s not going to be so easy. Rohit and MS (Dhoni) came up with Bumrah bowling the second last, and Hardik Pandya bowled the last over well. When Hardik got hurt, I was thinking god forbid if I had to bowl the last four balls.”
He further added, “We have won a few on the trot and it makes us very proud. This stadium is beautiful, the outfield wonderful and the crowd made it special. I am surprised there were no games here earlier.”
On the other hand, the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson also praised the men in blue for winning such pressure games on a regular basis which has made them one of the best teams in the world. He said, “It was a tricky surface and runs on board on that surface was handy. It came down to a couple of deliveries. Shame to not get across the line in this decider. As soon as you ran your fingers on the ball, it made life difficult.”
He concluded, “In this part of the world, wickets can be flat. We showed a good fight. You have to be on top of their game to win here, they are one of the best teams in the world. I think there have been a number of strides forward for us. Fairly new group and it’s not easy, guys coming here for the first or second time. It’s a tough place to play.”