India vs New Zealand 2019: Men in Blue Thrash Kiwis by Eight Wickets in Napier ODI
India’s domination continues from Australia to its Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand. Virat Kohli and his men had accelerated well to begin Kiwis limited-overs tour on a high. Pragmatically, yet another all-round show has put the Men in Blue in a driver’s seat ahead of the quadrennial event in England. The southpaw Shikhar Dhawan slammed his 26th One-day International half-century (ODI), to help India to lead the five-match Netmeds ODI series 1-0 owing to a Duckworth-Lewis (DLS) method. He scored 75 off 103 balls, as Ambati Rayudu remained unbeaten on 13 off 23 deliveries.
Thus, India overhauled the revised target with eight wickets in hand, in 34.5 overs.
Moreover, Dhawan recorded a brilliant 91-run stand for the second wicket alongside skipper Kohli, who scored 45 off 59 balls. Kohli was caught by wicket-keeper Tom Latham on the bowling of Lockie Ferguson.
In a bid to chase the tricky 158-run target, the visitors’ openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan kicked off their run-chase in a composed manner. The duo forged 41-run stand for the opening wicket in 9.2 overs, before Rohit perished on the bowling of Doug Bracewell while handing a simple catch to Martin Guptill at the lone slip cordon.
However, Rohit faced 24 balls for his 11 runs.
Rain? No. Bad Light? No. It was the sun outrage in Napier:
Owing to the sun outrage which is a very rare reason to witness players complaining about, but McLean Park has experienced an unusual occasion. It further forces the officials to revise the target to 156 in 49 overs.
The game was halted as Dhawan complained the sunlight is setting direct in his eyes.
The incident took place in the tenth over of India’s innings when Kohli and Dhawan were batting before sunlight played stopped the game around half-an-hour.
India is brimming with confidence following the 2-1 victory over Australia which has paved the way for a skipper to repose faith in the youngsters.
Kane’s fifty wasn’t enough in Napier:
Earlier, Kiwis skipper Kane Williamson opted to bat first after winning the toss. However, the Men in Blue bowlers had shown a lot of promise to rattle hosts on 157 in 38 overs, as the final wicket came in the form of Trent Boult.
Shami shakes the Black Caps:
Interestingly, the hosts lost last five wickets while adding just 24 runs to the tally. Thus, it saw six batters could not cross the double-figure mark.
It was paceman Mohammed Shami, who brought the downfall of Kiwis innings early on. In first 3.3 overs, the hosts lost both the openers in the form Martin Guptill (5) and Colin Munro (8) of at the tally of 18. Shami, who was on the song returned with the figures of three for 19 in six overs. Shami castled Guptill in his first over.
Owing to the best possible start with the ball, Shami scripted history to clinch to become fastest India to bag 100 wickets while featuring in his 56th ODI.
Earlier, he had bagged 99 wickets in 55 One-dayers at the average of 26.26. Shami surpassed Irfan Pathan, who achieved the feat in 59 ODIs.
Also, Williamson gave his best when his team was in dire straits, but he kept on losing the partners on a trusted surface. The top-order batsman Williamson was the top-score for Kiwis with 64 off 81 deliveries. His innings included seven fours.
It becomes important here that with the buildup of the five-match ODI series, cricketing pundits opined that spinners would not be that effective on New Zealand shores. But often than not, Kuldeep alongside Chahal had proved them wrong.
The duo eventually made things miserable for the opponents owing to the guile and commitment to play their A game.
Kuldeep walked out with a four-for after conceding 39 runs in 10 overs. Well, the leg-spinner Chahal bagged three scalps in 10 overs. Both shared seven wickets after giving away 82 runs in 20 overs. It gives an idea how they bowled clinically against the Black Caps.
The second ODI will commence on Saturday (January 26) at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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