Indian wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni runs out New Zealand's Tom Bruce on Tuesday. Photo: Aijaz Rahi/AP

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India – Virat Kohli’s India beat New Zealand in a match reduced by rain to eight overs a side to beat the Kiwis 2-1 in a T20 series for the first time.

India made 67/5, with Manish Pandey hitting 17 off 11 balls and Kohli 13. Both hit a six and a four in quick-fire innings that New Zealand just could not match.

Pandey went to a spectacular catch off Trent Boult. He fired the ball toward the long-on boundary, producing a full-length dive by Mitchell Santner, who deflected the ball to stop it going over the line and set up the catch by Colin de Grandhomme.

Though the result could have gone either way with just two balls remaining, New Zealand reached just 61/6, with De Grandhomme making an unbeaten 17.

India’s Jasprit Bumrah, the man of the match, bowled brilliantly, giving away just nine runs from two overs.

“You would be lying if you said you were not tense,” said Indian coach Ravi Shastri. “They saved the best for the last, the electricity was there.”

India had never beaten New Zealand in a T20 match going into this series.

The Indians have not lost a home series in any format since being beaten by South Africa in one-day games in 2015.

India must now prepare for a three Test series against Sri Lanka starting in barely a week.