First Twenty20 International
India 162-8 (S K Raina 61 no) v New Zealand 166-3
(B B McCullum 56 no)
New Zealand beat India by 7 wkts
Brendon McCullum led from the front as New Zealand powered to a seven-wicket win in the opening Twenty20 international against India at Christchurch.
The Black Caps opener blazed an unbeaten 56 off 49 balls as the hosts chased down India's par total of 162-8 with seven balls and seven wickets to spare at the AMI Stadium.
The match, the first of seven limited-overs matches between the sides, saw a record 24 sixes struck as both bowling attacks toiled at the compact Christchurch venue.
After losing the toss, India were put into bat - a decision New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori may have been regretting after Virender Sehwag launched three sixes off Tim Southee's first over.
Sehwag (26 off 10 balls) and Gambhir (6) smashed 25 from the opening two overs, only for Iain O'Brien to clean bowl both with successive deliveries.
Suresh Raina, who proved to be the cornerstone of the India innings with an unbeaten 61, was then forced to watch on from the other end as the tourists middle-order subsided.
Rohit Sharma (7), the dangerous Yuvraj Singh (1) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2) all fell cheaply as the Black Caps took control of the match.
Vettori (1-18) and Ian Butler (2-29) led the way with the ball, however Raina (61 off 43), Yusuf Pathan (20) and Harbhajan Singh (21) ensured India posted a competitive 162-8 from their 20-over allocation.
The home side suffered the early loss of opener Jesse Ryder (1) in the second over, however McCullum and Martin Guptill wasted little time making in roads into their target.
The pair launched the Indian bowling attack to all areas of the ground during a 54-run partnership which came off just 33 balls.
Guptill was the major contributor - the 22-year-old continuing his impressive start to international cricket with a rapid 41 which included four fours and three sixes.
Harbhajan brought an end to Guptill's cameo when he trapped him lbw, however Ross Taylor took up the mantle effortlessly as the game slipped away from Dhoni's men.
Taylor launched three sixes as he racked up 31 from 20 balls to help take the Black Caps within 57 runs of the winning total.
McCullum continued to pick and place his shots expertly and brought up his third consecutive Twenty20 half-century in the penultimate over of the match in a 49-ball innings which included two fours and three sixes.
Jacob Oram, who caressed an elegant unbeaten 29, finished the match with a flourish after launching Yusuf Pathan for a towering six over extra cover with seven balls remaining.