The players were forced from the field for almost 40 minutes as India replied to New Zealand's total of 157 because the setting sun on Wednesday was shining through windows at the back of the grandstand and into the batters' eyes.
India was 44-1 in the 11th over when the stoppage occurred. When the players returned to the field, the target had been revised under the Duckworth-Lewis system from 158 to 156 and one over had been deducted from the innings.
Dhawan and Kohli shared a 91-run partnership which helped India reach its winning target with 85 balls remaining, taking early momentum to start the five-match series. Kohli won a brief reprieve on 37 when he adjudged lbw to Tim Southee but had the decision overturned on review. Dhawan also had some luck, being dropped by wicketkeeper Tom Latham on 31.
Otherwise, India's progress to an emphatic victory — continuing the form it showed in winning test, one-day and Twenty20 series in Australia — was impeded only by the rays of the setting sun. Umpires Shaun George of South Africa and Shaun Haig of New Zealand explained they didn't receive an appeal from the batsmen against the light; in this case an excess of light rather than a shortage.
The officials said they'd acted out of concern for the safety of the players. The intervention of sun-strike was not entirely unexpected. A Twenty20 match at McLean Park in the past week had been interrupted for a similar reason.
The stadium was hosting its first international match since the 2015 World Cup after being dropped from New Zealand's list of international venues because of drainage problems. The setting sun may have become a problem Wednesday because the match started an hour later than usual to suit Indian TV audiences. The India innings was also interrupted by the dinner break because it had dismissed New Zealand in only 38 overs, meaning the visitors had to face nine overs before the scheduled break.
Opener Rohit Sharma was out for 11 two balls after the resumption but Dhawan and Kohil calmly guided India to 132-2, before Kohli was caught by Latham from the bowling of Lockie Ferguson. Dhawan reached his 26th half century in ODIs from 69 balls and had been joined by Ambati Rayudu who was 13 not out when the winning runs came in the 35th over.
India owed its victory more to a superb collective bowling performance than the efforts of its batsmen. New Zealand batted on winning the toss and on what was expected to be a high-scoring pitch. But Mohammed Shami bowled both New Zealand openers, Martin Guptill (5) and Colin Munro (8), to give India the upper hand from the start.
Shami also dismissed Mitchell Santner (14), and wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav (4-39) shared six wickets. Chahal caught and bowled both Latham (11) and Ross Taylor (24), ending Taylor's run of six consecutive ODI 50s.
"When I lost the toss I thought it's going to be 300-par," Kohli said. "But the way the guys bowled and created pressure it turned out to be absolutely the opposite."
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