New Zealand have taken the 1-0 lead in the three-match home ODI series against the visitors India after winning the first game on Wednesday (5th February) at Seddon Park (Hamilton). Admitting the target was more than their comfort zone, the Kiwis skipper Tom Latham is happy with the performances from the hosts’ batsmen.
After winning the toss, Latham sent the visitors to bat first and India scored 347/4 (50 overs). In reply, the openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls got a very good start with 85-run opening stand. While Guptill scored 32 runs, Nicholls continued his batting to 78 runs (82 balls) before the Indian skipper Virat Kohli ran him out.
Then, Ross Taylor and captain Tom Latham batted superbly and provided the game-changing partnership of 138 runs in just 13.1 overs. While Taylor scored his 50 runs off 45 balls, Latham completed his half-century in 38 balls. The left-hand and right-hand combination worked very well for the hosts while Taylor became more dangerous after completing his half-century.
Soon after Latham was dismissed on 69 runs off 48 balls (8 fours and 2 sixes), Taylor completed his 21st ODI century off just 73 balls. Though the hosts suffered a little panic in the dying moments of the game. However, Taylor safely guided them to the series-leading victory.
While New Zealand chased down the 348 runs target in 48.1 overs after losing six wickets, the Player of the Match award winner Taylor remained not out on 109 runs off 84 balls (10 fours and 4 sixes).
Hopefully, we will play the perfect game at Eden Park: Tom Latham
It was their first ODI after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final. Despite missing out some important players in this Hamilton ODI, New Zealand still snatched a solid victory against the second-ranked ODI side India. In the absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson, stand-in captain Latham is satisfied with the team’s performance in this match.
He said in the post-match presentation ceremony, “A great performance from the guys. It was nice to keep our composure at the end and get across the line. For us, it was about building partnerships. The total was a little more than what we would have liked to chase. But we managed to get off to a good start and keep wickets in hand. We saw how hard it was to defend with the left-right combination. It’s nice to make winning contributions. The way Ross played was fantastic. We weren’t quite where we wanted to be with the ball. So we got to improve and hopefully, we will play the perfect game at Eden Park.”
They will play the second game of this three-match ODI series on Saturday (8th February) at Eden Park (Auckland).