New Zealand finally found their much needed success on their India tour when they defeated the hosts by six runs in the second ODI at Delhi on Thursday.
The margin of victory would have been much higher but for a spirited partnership of 49 for the ninth wicket between all-rounder Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav that threatened to spoil the Kiwi party.
New Zealand could win comfortably enough despite putting up a modest total of 242 on the board. The Indian batsmen made heavy weather of chasing down the runs with the top order failing for once, and the middle order not able to finish the game.
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, New Zealand were anchored by their 26-year-old Captain Kane Williamson, who battled cramps to score his 8th ODI hundred.
Check out the Ind vs NZ 2nd ODI Highlights here.
Williamson walked in to the middle in the third ball of the match with opener Martin Guptill was bowled by a Umesh Yadav outswinger for a duck. With the in-form Tom Latham (46 from 46 balls), Williamson added 120 runs for the second wicket to lay the platform for the tourists.
Amit Mishra with three wickets and Jasprit Bumrahm also with three wickets ensured that the Kiwis did not run away with a huge total despite Williamson’s century. The Kiwi captain was dismissed in the 43rd over for a 124-ball 118 which contained 14 fours and a six.
New Zealand lost their way in the end overs, with five wickets going down for 29 runs in 45 balls.
The Indian run chase began in a sedate fashion and New Zealand had the hosts on the backfoot at 40 for 2 in the 12th over. Rohit Sharma was caught edging a drive off Trent Boult to Luke Ronchi for 15.
Virat Kohli was caught down the legside by Ronchi off Mitchell Santner for 9. Ajinkya Rahane scored 28 before he was caught pulling Tim Southee to Corey J Anderson at long leg who took a forward diving catch. India was in deep trouble at 73 for 4 in the 20th over when a well set Manish Pandey (19) ran himself out trying out a difficult second run from squareleg.
The onus was on Captain MS Dhoni to take control and win the match for India. However, that wasn’t to be as he seemed to be losing his magical touch with the bat, especially when it comes to finishing run chases.
Dhoni scratched around for 65 balls to score only 39 before he patted a return catch to Tim Southee, leaving India at 172 for 6 in the 40th over. Kedar Jadhav, the other genuine batsman, chipped in with a good looking 41 from 37 balls which included a couple of sixes.
Axar Patel too contributed with the bat scoring 17 but his wicket along with Amit Mishra changed the match in New Zealand’s favour with Martin Guptill lucky to take the two out in a bizarre over that also had four wides.
India was down and out at 183 for 8 when Umesh Yadav walked in to join Hardik Pandya. It was match on as the pair brought the equation down to 10 from 7 balls.
Pandya after collecting 36 in 31 balls, went for the big shot but was outsmarted by a short one from Trent Boult to hole out at deep covers. Tim Southee wasted no time in the final over by yorking last man Jasprit Bumrah for a duck.
India was bowled out for 236 with Umesh Yadav remaining unbeaten with 18 from 23 balls. Apart from Southee, Trent Boult was outstanding as he conceded only 25 in his 10 overs besides a couple of big wickets.
Kane Williamson as expected got the Man of the Match award.
The third ODI of the series is at Mohali on Sunday.