Mohali, Oct 23 (IANS) Tom Latham (61) and James Neesham (57) took New Zealand to 285 all out in 49.4 overs in the third One-Day International (ODI) at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here on Sunday.
While in-form opener Latham batted through at the top of the batting order, Neesham’s innings helped the visitors overcome a middle-order batting failure effected by spinners Amit Mishra (2/46) and Kedar Jadhav (3/29).
New Zealand were 199/8 in 37.5 overs when Neesham and Matt Henry (39 not out) stitched together an 84-run stand.
India’s pacers — Umesh Yadav (3/75) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/52) — even though proving costly initially corrected their figures towards the end.
Asked to bat on a pacy wicket, the visitors looked good from the start. Martin Guptill (27 off 21) and Latham managed to score quickly after the first two silenced overs.
Guptill hit Hardik Pandya for a huge six over long-on in the third over before hitting the right-arm medium pacer for another six in the sixth over.
Latham, who was looking to play second fiddle to Guptill, also showed his power, hitting pacer Umesh Yadav for a six over square leg.
The same over saw Yadav dismissing Guptill with a leg before wicket (LBW) decision. By this time, New Zealand were 46 for one in 6.4 overs.
The partnership between captain Kane Williamson (22) and Latham lasted for only 34 runs as the former attempted a sweep off a Kedar Jadhav delivery that went on to hit the pads, resulting in a LBW.
Later, Latham was joined by Taylor and the right-hander, whose highest score on this tour so far was 36, showed ominous signs of posting a big score.
With ones and twos, he and Latham managed to drive New Zealand ahead and their partnership flourished and it looked like their team would manage to score more than 300.
But it was not to be. A classical leg-spin delivery from Mishra sharply spun away from Taylor who had stepped out of the crease, giving home captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to record his 150th stumping dismissal — the first wicket-keeper in the world to do so. After the end of the 73-run stand, New Zealand were 153/3 in 28.3 overs.
From thereon, New Zealand’s shortcomings in shot selection came to the fore as they lost three wickets within the space of four overs.
While left-hander Corey Anderson (6) offered a catch to Ajinkya Rahane at mid-off to a full toss from Jadhav, Mishra enticed Luke Ronchi (1) out of his crease and the batsman missed the ball before Dhoni did another stumping.
The big wicket of Latham also came through a poor shot as he drove straight a Jadhav delivery at Pandya at short cover. Latham’s innings witnessed three hits to the fence and one over it.
All-rounder Mitchell Santner (7) too perished, as a leading edge off a Jasprit Bumrah delivery went to Virat Kohli at point, reducing the visiting side to 180/7 in 34.2 overs. Tim Southee (13) was bowled by Yadav as the New Zealanders reeled at 199/8 in 37.5 overs.
But Neesham got good support from tail-ender Henry as the duo formed a partnership to bail the team out of trouble.
While Neesham scored 57 off 47 deliveries with the help of seven fours, Henry showed a lot of composure in his 37-ball unbeaten 39.
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