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India win Napier ODI after solid batting
March 03, 2009 15:37 IST
Last Updated: March 03, 2009 16:59 IST
India shrugged off the two defeats in the Twenty20 [Images] internationals with a solid batting display to beat New Zealand [Images] by 53 runs in the rain-marred first One-Day International in Napier on Tuesday.
Riding on skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's [Images] unbeaten 84 and blistering half-centuries from Virender Sehwag [Images] (77) and Suresh Raina [Images] (66), India ratted up 273 for 4 in 38 overs and then put up a disciplined bowling performance to overcome the Kiwis.
After the first rain break, the match was reduced to 38 overs per side.
Rain-interruptions added to New Zealand's woes and they were forced to chase a stiff target of 216 from 28 overs after play was halted a second time in the match. The Kiwis could put up just 162 for 9.
They were 111 in 20.5 overs while chasing the original target of 274 from 38 overs when play was suspended. On resumption they were left with a daunting task of scoring 105 runs off 7.1 overs.
Martin Guptill (64) and Ross Taylor [Images] (31) scored the bulk of the runs for the hosts. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh [Images] (3/27) and paceman Praveen Kumar (2/28) shone with the ball for India.
India were on top of their game. Their batting, despite a lull in the middle overs, was awesome. Suresh Raina provided the thrust with a 39-ball 66.
Their bowling too was sharp and disciplined, with Praveen Kumar removing the wind out of the Kiwi sail with two crippling blows at the start, and Harbhajan Singh scything through the late order.
The Blackcaps did well to recover from a staggering start through Guptill and Taylor but the asking rate was always way too high to be achieved under lights.
Requiring a stifling 105 off 43, they lost wickets in a trice, as Harbhajan Singh produced a brilliant spell and came close to getting a hat-trick in the 24th over.
New Zealand lost four wickets in five balls and capitulated to their worst defeat this season.
Apart from Raina, who savaged the Kiwi attack with casual disdain, Sehwag and Dhoni also contributed to India's cause. Sachin Tendulkar [Images] (20) and Yusuf Pathan [Images] (20 not out) also chipped in their mite.
Earlier, a 141-minute rain-break had little effect on Sehwag and Tendulkar as the celebrated openers went about caning the Kiwi pace attack without much ado.
India were cruising along at 69 for no loss in the tenth over when Tendulkar, venturing to work the ball to third man, nicked Ian Butler to Brendon McCullum [Images].
If runs had cascaded like the Brahmaputra in spate at the start, it began to dry up in the middle overs (13 to 18) as Daniel Vettori [Images] and Butler bottled up Sehwag and Dhoni.
Sehwag braved to break out of the kiwi shackles, only to watch Ross Taylor produce an outstanding catch at short cover off Vettori.
India continued to huff and puff as Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh [Images] struggled to work the ball off the square.
Yuvraj, who searched for runs as much as he scanned the ground for his lost chain before the game, was eventually put out of his misery by Guptill, who rifled in his return from short-wicket to Vettori, as he sought to take a second run.
Raina then changed the complexion of the match for the visitors. His fiery innings was full of energy and boundaries.
The youngster carted the ball to the all parts of the park, hoisting Vettori and Kyle Mills [Images] twice each into the stands.
Raina's belligerence seemed to influence Dhoni, who until then had curbed his instinct to attack (obviously to ensure that a top order batsman bats through the innings).
As the end overs ebbed, Dhoni broke loose to the delight of the Indian spectators who had driven down from Auckland and Wellington to watch their demi-gods in action.