CHRISTCHURCH (AFP) - New Zealand belted their way to a seven-wicket win over India in an explosive Twenty20 cricket match here Wednesday that produced a record number of sixes. India, world champions at the shortest form of the game, fired from the start when they were sent into bat first in their New Zealand tour opener. But they lost wickets at regular intervals and were 162 for eight at the end of their innings. New Zealand, with Brendon McCullum carrying his bat through their innings, replied with 166 for three, the winning runs coming from a six over the cover boundary by Jacob Oram. It was the 24th six of the match, played on a ground with short boundaries, easily surpassing the previous record of 20 set by Australia and India in Durban two years ago during the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. Virender Sehwag started the six fest, clouting three off consecutive balls in the first over as India raced to 25 in the first 11 balls. But their rollicking start was shortlived with Iain O'Brien removing both openers in consecutive balls. Gautam Gambhir went for six on the last ball of O'Brien's first over and Sehwag was bowled for 26 on the first ball of his second over leaving Rohit Sharma to avoid the hattrick. But Sharma's innings lasted only seven balls, indicative of the problems the Indian batsmen had in trying to force the pace on a slow wicket. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni described it as a good lesson in Twenty20 batting. "That's where we failed as a team, there was nobody who took the responsibility to stay there in the middle," he said "Losing too many wickets, later you can't really capitalise on the start you have got. So it's very important to have wickets in hand so you can capitalise on maybe the last four or five overs." The most pleasing aspect for New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was the way his bowlers responded to the heavy Indian hitting. "For our guys to respond to that and to restrict India to 160 after getting away so quickly and also with how small the boundaries are -- one side was just a toy hit -- so really happy with them." Only Suresh Raina looked to have a game plan for India and his unbeaten 61, including five sixes, formed the backbone of the tourists' innings. Yusuf Pathan also found the boundary, hitting Nathan McCullum for three sixes in three balls but when he went for a fourth six he fell victim to an outstanding catch-of-the-match by Oram. The tall New Zealander took the ball while off-balance just inside the boundary rope. As he was about to step across the line he flicked the ball in the air, righted himself and came back into the field of play to complete the catch. Pathan's 20 and a 21 at the end by Harbhajan Singh were the only other innings of note from India. While India took 19 off Tim Southee's opening over, New Zealand's big hitting openers Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum were slow out of the blocks. Ryder went leg before wicket for one in the second over and Martin Guptill was lucky to survive his first ball when he shouldered arms to a delivery that swung back sharply and rapped him on the pads. Television replays showed the ball would have hit the stumps but umpire Evan Watkin thought otherwise. It was a break New Zealand needed as Guptill ignited New Zealand's run chase and went on to make 41 in 28 balls before he fell lbw to Harbhajan. Man-of-the-match McCullum, was cautious by his standards, but managed to bat through the innings with 56 off 49 balls including three sixes. Following Guptill's dismissal, Ross Taylor added a quick 31 and then Oram, returning from injury, partnered McCullum through to the end with 29 off 15 balls. The second and final Twenty20 match in the series is in Wellington Friday to be followed by five one-day internationals and three Tests. SCOREBOARD INDIA G. Gambhir b O'Brien 6 V. Sehwag b O'Brien 26 S. Raina not out 61 R. Sharma c B. McCullum b Butler 7 Y. Singh lbw b Vettori 1 M. Dhoni b Butler 2 Y. Pathan c Oram b N. McCullum 20 I. Pathan c N. McCullum b Ryder 12 H. Singh b Southee 21 EXTRAS (lb 3, w 3) 6 TOTAL (8 wickets) 162 Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Gambhir), 2-32 (Sehwag), 3-54 (Sharma), 4-56 (Y. Singh), 5-61 (Dhoni), 6-82 (Y. Pathan), 7-101 (I. Pathan), 8-162 (H. Singh) BOWLING: Southee 4-0-42-1 O'Brien 4-0-36-2 Butler 4-0-29-2 (1w) Vettori 4-0-18-1 (2w) N. McCullum 2-0-27-1 Ryder 2-0-7-1 NEW ZEALAND J. Ryder lbw b I. Sharma 1 B. McCullum not out 56 M. Guptill lbw b H. Singh 41 R. Taylor b Khan 31 J. Oram not out 29 EXTRAS (w 5, nb 3) 8 TOTAL (3 wickets) 166 Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Ryder), 2-56 (Guptill), 3-106 (Taylor) BOWLING: Khan 4-0-20-1 (1w) Sharma 4-0-35-1 (3nb) I. Pathan 3-0-38-0 Harbhajan Singh 4-0-19-1 Y. Pathan 2.5-0-37-0 (1w) Yuvraj Singh 1-0-17-0 (1w) Toss: New Zealand Match: New Zealand win by seven wickets Series: New Zealand 1-0 Umpires: Gary Baxter (NZL), Evan Watkin (NZL) Television umpire: Tony Hill Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)