Dhoni Century Sets Up Comprehensive India Win

Dhoni Century Sets Up Comprehensive India Win
Dhoni Century Sets Up Comprehensive India Win
©REUTERS/Babu (INDIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

India 360-5 (Dhoni 108no, Gambhir 89) beat
New Zealand 243 (McCullum 58) by 117 runs
ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 warm-up, Chennai

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hammered a blistering unbeaten century to set up a commanding 117-run victory over New Zealand in a Cricket World Cup warm-up match in Chennai.

Dhoni hit 108 in just 64 balls as India piled on the runs, closing on 360 for five and although New Zealand made a promising start to their run chase, they were eventually dismissed for 243.

India's spinners took eight of the wickets to fall, which followed on from a similar performance in their opening game against Australia, in which they took nine to lay down a marker ahead of the competition, which begins on 19th February.

They were far from convincing in the opening stages as openers Sachin Tendulkar (17) and Virender Sehwag (23) made brisk starts before being bowled by Tim Southee and Jacob Oram respectively.

Gautam Gambhir then stepped up the scoring rate by making 89 in 85 balls while Virat Kohli made a fluent 59 in 68 balls as India took control. Left-hander Gambhir stroked 11 fours and Kohli seven before Dhoni's introduction saw the run-rate spiral.

He hammered 11 fours and three sixes and he was given superb support by Suresh Raina, whose innings of 50 lasted 26 balls and included four fours and three sixes as New Zealand's bowlers were pulverised, none of them going for less than six runs an over.

Martin Guptill (38) and Brendon McCullum (58) then took on the Indian bowlers in an opening stand of 94 in 15 overs, Guptill hitting four fours and a six with McCullum striking seven boundaries.

After Guptill was caught by Dhoni off the bowling of off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, Jesse Ryder's 32 ensured New Zealand were giving as good as they had received but once he and McCullum departed - McCullum to a run out and Ryder to Harbhajan Singh, New Zealand lost their way.

Harbhajan then had Ross Taylor caught by Kohli for five, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla dismissed James Franklin without scoring and Scott Styris for 20.

Slow left-armer Yuvraj Singh then grabbed his two wickets when Jamie How was caught by Munaf Patel for 15 and Oram was stumped for 12.

Quick bowlelr Ashish Nehra then became the fourth Indian to bag a brace of wickets when he bowled both Luke Woodcock for nine and Kyle Mills for two as India ended New Zealand's innings in 43.1 overs.

India, 11/4 favourites for the Cricket World Cup with , play Bangladesh on 19th February in the competition's opening game while New Zealand are available at 20/1.

© Cricket World 2011

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