Guwahati, 23 January 2019:
India started their penultimate ODI series before the ICC Men’s World Cup 2019 with a thumping win against New Zealand (NZ) as they continued their red hot form in white ball cricket with an 8-wicket win in the first ODI at Napier.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, NZ got off to a disastrous start with Mohammad Shami (3/19)removing the two openers within the first three overs of the innings. Shami’s spell led to a lackluster batting performance by the Kiwi batsmen as they never recovered from the initial jolts.
Post Shami’s fiery spell, young spin wizards Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/39) did not allow the NZ batsmen to score freely and restricted the Black Caps to a below par score of 157.
For the hosts, Captain Kane Williamson showed some resilience and scored a gritty 81-ball 64 before handing an easy catch at mid-on trying to up the scoring rate.
Post the bowler’s heroics, it was easy task for the Indian batsmen who are presently in the prime of their forms, especially the top three.
India got to a good start but lost Rohit Sharma (11) after resuming play following a minor delay with the score at 41 runs for the visitors. This only led to more trouble as Skipper Virat Kohli (45) came to the crease and played like the champion batsmen he is by timing the ball to accuracy from the very beginning, as if he picked up from where left in Australia.
Chasing the modest target, Shikhar Dhawan was back to his best and took India home with a calm and composed innings of 75.
Mohammed Shami, for his brilliant opening spell, was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match.
New Zealand : 157/10 in 38 overs (Williamson 64, Kuldeep 4/39, Shami 3/19)
India : 156/2 in 34.5 overs (DLS method) (Dhawan 75*, Kohli 45, Bracewell 1/23)