Dharamsala - Indian bowlers skittled out New Zealand for a lowly 190 despite a maiden half-century from paceman Tim Southee on his return from injury in the first one-day international in Dharamsala on Sunday.
Debutant medium-pacer Hardik Pandya and Amit Mishra took three wickets each to vindicate skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bowl first after winning the toss at the picturesque ground.
The visitors, who were reeling at 106 for eight, managed to get close to respectability thanks to a 71-run stand between opener Tom Latham (79 not out) and the tailender Southee but the total still seemed to be below par.
Latham batted with purpose and defiance during his 98-ball knock while Southee attacked the Indian bowling with more abandon as he made 55 off 45 deliveries.
Pandya, who was at the receiving end of three boundaries by Martin Guptill in his opening over, got his revenge by having the opener caught at second slip for 12.
Pace spearhead Umesh Yadav then had star batsman Kane Williamson caught at third man after the Black Caps' skipper slashed at a wide delivery. He was on three.
Yadav then bowled Ross Taylor for a duck on the first delivery of his very next over to be on a hat-trick, only to be thwarted by Latham who went on to record his fifth ODI half century.
Pandya kept making inroads from the other end with the key wickets of the destructive Corey Anderson (4) and Luke Ronchi (0) as New Zealand slipped to 48 for five.
Spin was introduced in the 19th over of the innings and offie Kedar Jadhav quickly got two more wickets to break New Zealand's back and be on a hat-trick.
Doug Bracewell played out the hat-trick ball from Jadhav as he put on 41 runs for the eight wicket with Latham.
Southee, who returned after missing the Test series with an ankle injury, took the attack to the opposition during his 45-ball blitz as he hit 6 fours and 3 sixes.
Southee made full use of a reprieve when Yadav dropped him on two at long leg to frustrate the Indian attack.
Latham ran out of partners at the other end as India put themselves in a strong position to take an early lead in the five-match series.