Arriving at the crease to face the fourth ball of innings, Chapman impressed with a well-executed 63 runs on 50 balls, hitting six limits and two sixes, in a 109-value partnership with Martin Guptill ( 70).
Chapman’s move is all the more impressive as he spent the entire T20 World Cup campaign sitting on the substitute bench for the Blackcaps – his last competitive game dating back to April, when New Zealand shutout. Bangladesh at the end of the summer at home.
Additionally, Chapman’s innings see him become the first player to score half centuries for two different nations, having started his international career with Hong Kong.
Speaking after the game, Guptill praised Chapman’s contribution to the team’s performance, which saw the Blackcaps go 164/6 over their 20 overs.
“Not ideal to lose Daryl [Mitchell] in the first, says Guptill.
“But I think the way Chappy has adjusted, having not played a lot of cricket lately, to come in, spend time in the middle, set up a hundred partnerships with him and set up a phase of extended death really helped the team to a competitive total. “
The Blackcaps could be forgiven for dropping their focus in this three-game series, just three days after Monday’s loss in the Twenty20 World Cup final to Australia.
The team left the United Arab Emirates less than 24 hours after their loss in Dubai, thrown directly into the cauldron of another series.
And even though India has appointed a Channel 2 team, the Blackcaps cannot afford that luxury, due to the difficulties of traveling in a world affected by COVID-19.
The Blackcaps were forced to field test hopeful Rachin Ravindra as an all-rounder in Thursday’s series opener, thanks to Jimmy Neesham who had a stomach problem before the game.