PUNE: On a day where on-field action clearly took a backseat due to the curator catastrophe, India produced a clinical performance with the ball first and then with the bat to beat New Zealand by 6 wickets and level the 3 match ODI series 1-1 at the MCA Stadium here on Wednesday.
Chasing a modest target of 231 runs, India made a minimum fuss as they strolled home with four overs to spare. Riding on half-centuries from Dinesh Karthik (64*) and man of the match Shikhar Dhawan (68), the chase was comfortable for India despite losing Rohit Sharma cheaply for the second time in the series.
DHAWAN BACK TO HIS BEST
Dhawan though was back to his best and played shots all around the ground en route to his 22 ODI fifty. His sublime innings comprised five fours and couple of sixes including the one he hit over midwicket.
The southpaw shared a 57-run stand Virat Kohli (29) before adding 66 runs with Karthik, who too played a valuable knock.
After Dhawan’s departure, Karthik and Hardik Pandya (30) forged a 59-run stand to secure the game for their team. The third and deciding One Day International would be held at Green Park in Kanpur on coming Sunday.
BHUVI SWINGS IT
Earlier, Bhhuvneshwar Kumar produced a fine swing bowling display while his pace colleague Jasprit Bumrah (2/38)) and young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2/36) picked up two wickets apiece as Indian bowlers came out determined after being asked to bowl.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand never really got going as India kept picking up wickets at regular intervals. The visitors lost their top-order, Martin Guptill (11), Colin Munro (10) and Kane Williamson (3) without too many on the board as once again the onus lied on Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to bail them out of trouble.
However, Taylor (21) got dismissed shortly as Latham (38) continued from where he left off in Mumbai till the time Axar Patel cleaned him up by coming round the wicket, as the duo failed to repeat their last match’s exploits when they conjured a 200-run stand in a winning cause.
Taylor, who struck two fours and looked set for a big knock, was dismissed by Hardik Pandya in the 16th over as the right-handed batsman edged one to Dhoni while trying to hook a Pandya delivery.
Lower-order batsmen Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme stitched together an impressive partnership before Nicholls (42) was clean bowled by Bhuvneshwar, who was also the pick of the bowlers for India by returning with figures of 3 for 45.
Grandhomme (41) too departed in the 44th over, leaving the Kiwis in a spot of bother.
But the tail-enders Mitchell Santner (29) and Tim Southee (25*) came together to take New Zealand to 230 for 9 at the end of 50 overs.
New Zealand Innings:
Martin Guptill c Dhoni b Kumar 11 (9b, 2x4); Colin Munro b Kumar 10 (17b, 1x6); Kane Williamson lbw b Bumrah 3 (14b); Ross Taylor c Dhoni b Pandya 21 (33b, 2x4); Tom Latham b Patel 38 (62b, 2x4); Henry Nicholls b Kumar 42 (62b, 3x4); Colin de Grandhomme c Bumrah b Chahal 41 (40b, 5x4, 1x6); Mitchell Santner c Kohli b Bumrah 29 (38b, 2x4, 1x6); Adam Milne lbw b Chahal 0 (1b); Tim Southee not out 25 (22b, 1x4, 1x6); Trent Boult not out 2 (2b).
Extras: 8 (lb 3, w 5).
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-25, 3-27, 4-58, 5-118, 6-165, 7-188, 8-188, 9-220.
Bowling: Buvneshwar Kumar 10-0-45-3, Jasprit Bumrah 10-2-38-2, Kedar Jadhav 8-0-31-0, Hardik Pandya 4-0-23-1, Axar Patel 10-1-54-1, Yuzvendra Chahal 8-1-36-2.
Rohit Sharma c Munro b Southee 7 (19b, 1x4); Shikhar Dhawan c Taylor b Milne 68 (84b, 5x4, 2x6); Virat Kohli c Latham b de Grandhomme 29 (29b, 3x4, 1x6); Dinesh Karthik not out 64 (92b, 4x4); Hardik Pandya c Milne b Santner 30 (31b, 2x4, 1x6), MS Dhoni not out 18 (21b, 3x4).
Extras 16 (lb 7, w 9).
Total: 232/4 (46 Overs, RR: 5.04)
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-79, 3-145, 4-204.
Bowling: Tim Southee 9-1-60-1, Trent Boult 10-0-54-0, Adam Milne 8-1-21-1, Mitchell Santner 10-0-38-1, Colin de Grandhomme 7-0-40-1, Colin Munro 2-0-12-0.
India won by six wickets.