McCullum's 55-ball 91 and super bowling towards the end from Franklin and Oram help New Zealand beat India
New Zealand claimed an unlikely T20I win over India by one run in Chennai.
The hosts seemed likely to canter to victory when Virat Kohli (70) and Yuvraj Singh (34) were batting together, only for the dismissal of the former to change the game.
Kohli made his highest T20I score as he carved the New Zealand attack to all corners of the MA Chidambaram Stadium in pursuit of 168.
Suresh Raina (27 off 22 balls) helped Kohli add 60 for the second wicket before he chipped Kyle Mills to short cover.
Yuvraj, making a popular return to the side after recovering from cancer, was dropped on nine but the opportunity proved doubly costly for the Black Caps.
Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum – who earned the man-of-the-match award for his star role with the bat – and pace bowler Mills were involved in a collision that led to lengthy treatment for both players.
Mills suffered the most as he left the field sporting a black eye caused by his team-mate’s forearm.
Insult was added to injury when Yuvraj hit his next ball over long-on for six – his first maximum since returning to the international stage.
Just 48 from 41 were needed when Mills’s substitute – Tim Southee – caught Kohli low down advancing from long-on.
From that comfortable position India were left needing 32 off the last three overs and then 25 from 12 balls.
Jacob Oram and James Franklin’s changes of pace made life difficult for Yuvraj and MS Dhoni (22 not out) who struggled to unfurl their usual attacking game.
Yuvraj produced his second six of the innings over midwicket in the penultimate over to keep India’s hopes alive with 13 needed off Franklin’s last over.
Dhoni pulled the second ball for a boundary only for the bowler to show his character when he bowled Yuvraj with a slower ball two deliveries later.
New batsman Rohit Sharma could only hit two’s off each of the last two balls to give the Black Caps an unlikely victory.
McCullum had earlier dominated the Black Caps’ 167-5 with 91 off 55 balls as he contributed 11 of the 17 boundaries and three of the four sixes hit in the innings.
The opener was finally undone by a clever slower delivery from Irfan Pathan which the batsman gloved onto his stumps.
New Zealand’s total represented a good recovery from 2-2 midway through the second over.
Rob Nicol (0) was bowled in the first over when he exposed his leg stump to Zaheer Khan and Martin Guptill (1) followed in the next over when he drove loosely and was also bowled – this time by Pathan.
Yuvraj was given a rapturous reception when he was brought on to bowl the seventh over.
The slow left-armer was the second most economical bowler of the innings, conceding 14 runs from two overs.
New Zealand maintain their unbeaten record against India in 20-over cricket and take the series 1-0 after the first match was rained off.