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Rediff.com  » Cricket » WC warm-up images: Dhoni punishes Kiwi bowlers

WC warm-up images: Dhoni punishes Kiwi bowlers

Last updated on: February 16, 2011 21:53 IST

Power-packed performance from Dhoni

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An explosive, unbeaten knock of 108 by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and a classy 89 by Gautam Gambhir, powered India to an imposing 360 for five against New Zealand in their second and last warm-up match ahead of the World Cup in Chennai on Wednesday.

- Scorecard 

After sharing 68 runs in 9.3 overs for the fourth wicket with Gambhir, Dhoni set the nearly-packed Chepauk stadium on fire as he tore into the Kiwi bowling in the company of Suresh Raina, who made his exit just 12 balls before the hosts' innings ended.

Raina scored a quickfire 50 off just 26 balls, with three huge sixes and four boundaries, and added 124 runs in 9.2 overs along with Dhoni.

For the hapless New Zealanders, Jacob Oram and Tim Southee were the most successful bowlers, sharing two wickets each, while Kyle Mills accounted for one wicket.

India went on to win the match by 117 runs. The Kiwis folded for 243 in 43.1 overs.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
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India lose Sehwag, Sachin early

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India's openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar started cautiously after Dhoni won the toss for the second time and elected to bat.

The Kiwi pacers extracted bounce and also kept a steady line in length to stifle the Indian openers.

Tendulkar (17) was the first to go with the scoreboard reading 35; soon Sehwag (23) followed him back as India were reduced to 42 for two.

However, Gambhir hit form at the right time and resurrected the Indian batting along with Virat Kohli (59), adding 106 crucial runs for the third wicket to save India from the embarrassment of another batting collapse, like in Bangalore against Australia.

After Kohli's departure, Gambhir involved in a 68-run stand for the fourth wicket with Dhoni. The hosts made good use of the opportunities and also showed better on-field intensity as both Gambhir and Dhoni rotated their strike and looked for big runs.


Image: New Zealand players celebrate after dismissing an Indian player
Photographs: Reuters
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Dhoni clobbers Kiwi bowlers

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But just when Gambhir looked set for a century, he edged one to McCullum for a well made 89.

Dhoni then took over and he started to smash the Kiwi bowlers to all corners of the park. He was particularly sever on Oram hitting him for five boundaries in an over.

Dhoni continued his blitzkrieg and sent spinner Nathan McCullum to the ropes twice, much to the amusement of over 35,000 odd crowd that cheered every shot of the host captain.

Dhoni soon reached his century in the final over, when he took a couple of runs off Kyle Mills.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates scoring his century
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
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Gambhir resurrects Indian innings

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Gautam Gambhir hit form at the right time with a fluent knock of 89 and resurrected the Indian batting along with Virat Kohli (59), adding 106 crucial runs for the third wicket to save India from the embarrassment of another batting collapse, like in Bangalore against Australia.

After Kohli's departure, Gambhir was involved in a 68-run stand for the fourth wicket with Dhoni. The hosts made good use of the opportunities and also showed better on-field intensity, as both Gambhir and Dhoni rotated their strike and looked for big runs.

During their stay, the pair scored at 7.15 runs an over together for 9.3 overs at the pitch.


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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McCullum gives NZ flying start

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Set a stiff target of 361 for victory, Brendon McCullum gave the visitors a perfect start with a brisk half-century.

He stroked 58 from 54 balls, adding 94 runs for the opening wicket with Martin Guptill (38 from 45 balls). But once he departed courtesy of a run out, the Indian spinners brought their team back in the hunt with wickets at regular intervals.


Image: Brendon McCullum

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