Shreyas Iyer goes higher up the ladder

He clobbered 40 runs in the last 15 deliveries he faced against New Zealand.

Shreyas Iyer admittedly played a memorable knock that steered India to win the first T20I against New Zealand on Friday at Auckland.

Chasing a steep 204 to win, Iyer walked out to bat in the 11th over with the required run rate hovering around nine at the time. The asking rate soon jumped to 10 in the final six overs with six wickets left but the 25-year-old smashed an unbeaten 58 in just 29 balls, laced with 5 fours and 3 sixes, at a strike rate of 200 to earn himself the man of the match award.

"It's amazing coming overseas and it's a really good feeling to win the game and being not out," Shreyas Iyer said. "We had lost two quick wickets and it was really important to build a partnership."

Along with Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer forged an unbroken 62-run stand for the sixth wicket that led India to victory, with the former contributing only 14 runs in the partnership.

"We decided (to go for) one boundary an over and then bowler also comes under pressure," he explained. "My aim is to always finish games whatever time I spend on the pitch."

Shreyas Iyer, a NaMo Bandra Blasters mainstay in the T20 Mumbai league, smashed the second delivery he faced for four, making his intent clear early on. With 53 needed off the final five, India's No. 4 went on to show why he is much-deserved in the side.

In the last 15 balls he faced, he clobbered 40 runs off it and that included 4 boundaries and three sixes. A total of 18 were needed in the last two overs but Shreyas Iyer ended the match in the penultimate over as he hammered Tim Southee all over Eden Park, sealing the series-opener with a six.

"It feels good to finish the match and that too by hitting a six," Iyer said.

The second T20I of the five-match series between India and New Zealand will be played on Sunday.

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