New Zealand spoil Yuvraj comeback party

Yuvraj Singh was denied a fairytale comeback from serious illness as New Zealand beat India by one run.

Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh. Picture: AFP

CHENNAI - Yuvraj Singh was denied a fairytale comeback from serious illness as New Zealand beat India by one run in a see-saw Twenty20 International to win the two-match series on Tuesday.

Brendon McCullum's 55-ball 91 lifted New Zealand to a total of 167 for five and India finished on 166 for four to give the Kiwis their only victory of the tour.

India won both the tests and the first Twenty20 International at Visakhapatnam was washed out.

Virat Kohli top-scored for India with a 41-ball 70 and Yuvraj contributed 34 runs off 26 balls on his return to the side following cancer treatment.

"Kohli batted very well, he could have taken the game away from us...Hopefully we can take this confidence through (to World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka)," New Zealand captain Ross Taylor told reporters.

Yuvraj was given a thunderous welcome by the crowd at M.A.Chidambaram Stadium as he walked out to bat.

The left-hander was lucky early in his innings when his top edged eluded McCullum and Kyle Mills who were involved in a nasty collision.

"They bowled brilliantly and the wicket slowed down a bit which made it quite difficult for us. This was a game which we should have won," India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

Earlier, Zaheer Khan pegged back scoreless Rob Nicol's leg stump and fellow left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan breached Martin Guptill's (one) defence as New Zealand, put into bat, slumped to two for two inside nine balls.

McCullum, however, found an able ally in Kane Williamson (28) and they added 90 runs from 11 overs to overcome the wobbly start.

McCullum took 32 balls for his ninth half-century in Twenty20 Internationals and twice hit off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin over the ropes. His other six came off Yuvraj.

Pathan (3-31) broke the stand when Williamson fluffed his scoop shot and Ashwin ran backwards from short fine leg to take a smart catch.

McCullum was looking good for his second international century in this format when Pathan foxed him with a slower delivery which the batsman dragged on to his stumps.

Yuvraj, who went wicketless in his two overs, left the ground having hurt himself trying to catch McCullum off his own bowling before returning to catch James Franklin off Lakshmipathy Balaji.