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by Chetan Narula Friday 31 January 2014
New Zealand 303-5 (Taylor 102) beatIndia 216 (Kohli 82, Henry 4-38) by 87 runsFifth One-Day International, WellingtonScorecard
Ross Taylor’s 10th One-Day International hundred and debutant fast bowler Matt Henry's four for 38 propelled New Zealand to an 87-run victory over India in the fifth and final game of the series in Wellington.
At the Westpac Stadium, the visitors were bowled out for 216 in 49.4 overs when faced with a target of 304 runs, with only Virat Kohli (82) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (47) putting up some resistance.
This was after Taylor (102) put on 152 runs for the third wicket with Kane Williamson (88), who scored his fifth consecutive half-century, to finish at 303 for five. This proved too much for the Indian team though as they collapsed to an embarrassing 4-0 loss, after defeats in Napier and Hamilton (twice) as well as a tie in the third ODI in Auckland.
Chasing 304 runs for their first win on the tour, the tourists got off to a disastrously slow start. They needed six overs to get to a double-digit score, losing a wicket in the interim.
Rohit Sharma (4) was the first to go, giving slip-catching practice to Ross Taylor in the fifth over bowled by Kyle Mills (2-35).
Virat Kohli came to the crease, but the scoring didn’t increase. Shikhar Dhawan (9), coming back into the eleven after spending the last match on sidelines, looked uncomfortable once again as Henry got his first international wicket. He wound up the left-handed batsman in the 10th over of the innings, before inducing an edge which was safely pouched in the slips.
Four overs later, with the score at 30 for two, Ajinkya Rahane (2) missed a straight delivery from Henry, trying to play it off his legs and was out plumb LBW. India were staring at another massive defeat even as Kohli put up some resistance and finally found some support in Ambati Rayudu.
The latter took his time getting set, hitting two fours off the 40 balls he faced, but he couldn’t get past 20 runs. Looking to hit Henry over square on the off-side, Rayudu stepped out and made room only to hit it straight to Williamson.
This was a serious blow for India, as the two batsmen had added 48 runs 64 balls, at a decent run-rate of 4.5 per over. Yet again then, India were left relying on Dhoni and Kohli to salvage something from an impossible situation.
And they tried hard, putting up 67 runs for the fifth wicket in 61 balls, scoring at 5.50 per over, stirring some hope for their hapless team. In the 30th over of the innings, Kohli brought up his 30th ODI fifty, off 60 balls with five fours and one six. Immediately thereafter, with the run-rate now climbing past 10-per-over, he decided to play big shots and found some success.
Even so, he fell in the process, caught at long-on by substitute Peter Younghusband off Nathan McCullum (1-33) in the 37th over. He scored 82 runs off 78 balls, with seven fours and three sixes.
Afterwards, it another slow procession began for the lower-order batsmen as Ravichandran Ashwin (7) and Ravindra Jadeja (5) failed to provide support to Dhoni.
Yet they couldn’t be blamed for the asking rate was near impossible at that moment, and the batsmen had to go for their shots. Dhoni too perished in the same manner, caught at long off trying to clear the ropes, off Kane Williamson (2-19) in the 45th over. He scored 47 runs off 72 balls, with three fours, as the 4-0 score-line loomed large.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (20 runs, 25 balls, one four) became Henry’s fourth victim of the evening, as India were all out in the final over of the innings as James Neesham (1-45) bowled Varun Aaron (0), with Mohammad Shami (14 not out, 15 balls, one six) at the other end.
Earlier, Indian skipper Dhoni won the toss for a fifth consecutive time and opted to bowl first, reverting to his original strategy deployed in the first three matches. The visitors brought in Dhawan for Stuart Binny. New Zealand rested Tim Southee and Hamish Bennett, with McClenaghan and debutant Henry were playing instead.
There was a little cloud cover at the beginning as Bhuvneshwar (1-48) and Shami (1-61) made good use of the conditions to keep a tight leash on the openers.
Jesse Ryder (17 runs, 26 balls, one four, one six) tried to break the shackles but doing so gave away his wicket in the eighth over, with Rahane at gully holding on after on a second attempt. Only 31 runs came in the first ten overs, with Martin Guptill (16 runs, 35 balls, two fours) falling soon after, caught by Shami off Aaron (2-60) in the 13th over.
The real damage was yet to come, and it was done again by the hands of Williamson and Taylor, who put the Indian bowling to the sword in the middle overs. Ashwin (0-37) came on to bowl in the 14th over, but Jadeja (0-54) was held back until the 23rd even as the two batsmen scored runs with ease. Their 50-run partnership came off only 50 balls in the 21st over, while the 100-mark came up for the Black Caps in the very next one.
Williamson went on to score his fifth consecutive half-century of the series, and his 11th overall in ODIs, reaching the mark off 64 balls, with three fours, in the 30th over. He equalled the record of Pakistan’s Yasir Hameed against New Zealand back in 2003, and in doing so, became only the second batsman to achieve this feat.
Meanwhile in the very next over, Taylor too brought up his third half-century of the series, getting there in 54 balls, with six fours. They also celebrated their 100-run partnership in that over, and accelerated after that in pursuit of another 300-plus target. The pairing reached their 150-run mark in the 37th over, but with the score on 193, Williamson (88 runs, 91 balls, eight fours, one six) was caught at point by Rahane off Aaron, missing a hundred once again.
Brendon McCullum then came out to bat in the second power play that yielded 42 runs for Williamson’s wicket, and he had two near escapes with Rohit Sharma failing to run him out in the 43rd over.
Then, two balls later, Shami dropped him at long on. The Black Caps skipper was on 18 at that time and went on to score 23 runs (18 balls, one four, one six) before offering a straight catch to Rohit off Kohli (1-36) in the very next over.
Thereafter, Taylor got to his second consecutive hundred in the series, and his 10th overall, following up from an unbeaten 112 in the fourth ODI at Hamilton.
He got to the milestone in the 48th over, off 105 balls, with 10 fours and one six. He was out immediately afterwards, caught in the deep Shikhar Dhawan off Shami off the very next ball.
With only a few balls remaining, Luke Ronchi (11 not out, 5 balls, two fours) and Neesham (34 not out, 19 balls, three fours, two sixes) threw their bats around in a bid to garner quick runs. Particularly the latter, as he took 17 runs off the 50th over bowled by Shami as the 300-run mark came up.
The Indian death bowling was up to the mark leading up to that moment but still ended up giving away 91 runs in the last 10 overs.
© Cricket World 2014