First One Day International
India 273-4 (M S Dhoni 84 no, V Sehwag 77, S K Raina 66) v New Zealand 162-9 (M J Guptill 64)
India beat New Zealand by 53 runs (D/L Method)
Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina blazed rapid half-centuries as India beat New Zealand by 53 runs (D/L) in the rain-affected opening one-day international in Napier.
The explosive Sehwag cracked 77 from 56 balls and Dhoni top-scored with an unbeaten 84 as the tourists racked up 273-4 from their revised 38-over allocation.
Raina weighed in with a valuable 66 from just 39 deliveries before New Zealand, in an innings disrupted by further rain, fell well short of their target.
Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-27 as only Martin Guptill (64) offered any resistance in difficult batting conditions at McLean Park.
While the pre-match hype focused on the first appearance on tour of the 'Little Master' Sachin Tendulkar, it was Sehwag who stole the limelight in their opening partnership.
After Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat, Sehwag wasted little time in putting the New Zealand bowlers to the sword, as he and Tendulkar put on 69 inside the first 10 overs.
Paceman Iain O'Brien pegged India back when he had Tendulkar caught behind for 20, however that dismissal brought Dhoni to the crease and he maintained the impressive run-rate with minimum fuss.
Sehwag reached his 50 in 37 balls, belting Jacob Oram to the square leg boundary for four, however his innings came to an abrupt end when he was spectacularly caught by a diving Ross Taylor at extra cover off the bowling of Daniel Vettori.
Yuvraj Singh departed for just two when he was run out, however Raina joined his skipper in the middle and the 22-year-old left-hander targeted the boundary with almost every delivery he faced.
Raina smashed five fours and four sixes before an attempted heave saw him caught by O'Brien off the medium pace of Grant Elliot.
Dhoni, who struck six fours in his 89-ball stay, and Yusuf Pathan (20 off 10) finished the innings with a flourish to ensure that New Zealand needed over seven runs an over to win the match.
Vettori and Ian Butler, who both finished with 1-42 from their maximum of eight overs were the pick of the bludgeoned Kiwi bowlers.
Key to the Black Caps' hopes of chasing the ominous total was to be the amount of time aggressive opener Brendon McCullum spent out in the middle.
And when he fell without scoring just five balls into his innings the writing looked to be on the wall for Vettori's men.
Praveen Kumar made Jesse Ryder (11) his second victim soon after and despite a promising 58-run stand for the third wicket between Guptill and Taylor, the latter attempted one shot too many off the spin of Yusuf and was caught by Tendulkar for 31.
The impressive Guptill, a real find for New Zealand in the summer, continued to find the rope, however the hosts suffered another setback in what was the final ball before another rain delay when all-rounder Elliott was run out for 11.
When the players returned to the field the hosts were set a revised target of 216 from 28 overs. Harbhajan quickly put paid to any feint hopes of a Black Caps win, though.
The off-spinner took three wickets in just four balls to dismiss Guptill, Neil Broom (two) and Kyle Mills (0) after Oram had earlier perished to Yuvraj for a golden duck.
Vettori (26 no) added a hint of respectability to the hosts total at the death, but India's win puts down an early marker as both sides head to Wellington for the second ODI of the five-match series on Friday.