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Kiwis snatch last-ball win over India
February 27, 2009 13:50 IST
Last Updated: February 27, 2009 15:24 IST
Chasing a modest 150 for victory, the Kiwis were cruising comfortably before the Indians changed the complexion of the game with some tidy spin bowling and Irfan Pathan's [Images] double strike in the 18th over.
Needing 12 runs off Pathan's last over, the hosts rode on Brendon McCullum's [Images] unbeaten 69 to win by five wickets and register their third consecutive victory over the World champions.
The result of the ding-dong battle at the Westpac stadium could have been different had substitute fielder Rohit Sharma [Images] latched on to a difficult catch off McCullum. It would have taken the game to the eliminator stage.
Put into bat, India's formidable batting failed to click for the second straight time, leaving New Zealand with a fairly simple task of scoring 7.50 runs per over.
Iain O'Brien and Ian Butler took two wickets apiece for the hosts.
India were struggling at 47 for three when Yuvraj and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who failed to provide the late burst and remained unbeaten on 28 off 30 balls, steadied the rocking boat, putting together 45 runs for the fourth wicket.
Yuvraj survived a run-out chance and got a life when Neil Broom dropped him early in his innings before going on to make exactly 50.
He hit O'Brien for an extra cover six to complete his half-century but fell in the same over when he attempted another big shot. He hit four sixes and three fours in his 34-ball innings.
Dhoni could not do much to help India post a big total as New Zealand's bowlers kept a tight line throughout and were backed superbly by their fielders.
Earlier, Virender Sehwag (24) was his usual destructive self, hitting O'Brien for two fours -- one over extra cover and a lofted straight drive -- in the second over of the innings.
Tim Southee [Images], who made a good start by bowling a tight first over, giving way just two runs, once again faced fury of Sehwag, who hit him for a six and two fours.
Gautam Gambhir [Images] (10) welcomed Ian Butler into his first spell with a six but the bowler dealt the second blow to the visitors, dismissing Suresh Raina for a duck.
Raina mis-timed a shot, attempting to clear mid-on, and gave Vettroi a simple catch.
Butler struck again in his next over, getting rid of Gambhir, who played a reckless shot outside off and edging behind.
It was nearly fourth wicket for the Kiwis as new-man-in Yuvraj Singh survived after a terrible mix up with Dhoni.
Dhoni kept one end, watching his teammates going one after one as Yusuf Pathan [Images] (0) and Ravinder Jadeja (19) too departed early.