Images from the third One-Day International between India and New Zealand in Mohali, on Sunday.
Virat Kohli produced another breathtaking effort as his superbly crafted unbeaten 154 enabled India to cruise to an easy seven-wicket victory in the third ODI against New Zealand, in Mohali, on Sunday.
Kohli's 134-ball knock was ably complemented by an under-pressure skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (80 off 91) as the duo forged a 151-run partnership off 163 balls to effectively seal the match with 10 balls to spare and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
The visitors had earlier suffered a batting collapse before Jimmy Neesham (57) and Matt Henry (39 not out) came up with a 84-run stand for the ninth wicket before New Zealand were bowled out for 285 in the final over.
In reply, India were in control of the run chase all through to reach 289 for three in 48.2 overs.
Eventually, it was India's batting star Kohli, who got the job done with ridiculous ease. He continues to score centuries at an unbelievable rate as he brought up his 26th hundred in his 174th match.
He has now scored three hundreds in his last seven ODI innings and has a batting average of 52 plus in 174 matches.
India's batting mainstay also had luck on side as he was dropped on six by Ross Taylor, who could not hold to a regulation catch standing at a wide slip on the bowling off Matt Henry.
Dhoni's effort in the circumstances was also a valuable one. With India in a spot of bother, he promoted himself at number four and was involved in a match winning stand with Kohli.
On the way to his first half-century in 11 innings, Dhoni completed 9000 runs to become the fifth Indian to do so after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Azharuddin. He also surpassed Tendulkar to be India’s leading six-hitter in ODIs.
India felt the pressure at the start of the chase as openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, who were not among the runs in the earlier games, fell cheaply once again.
Rahane spooned a simple catch to cover off Matt Henry before Rohit failed to pick a slow off-cutter from pacer Tim Southee, leaving India at 41 for two in the ninth over.
While Kohli looked in sublime touch at the other end, Dhoni promoted himself at number four ahead of Manish Pandey in his bid to lead from the front in a tricky situation.
Both Dhoni and Kohli looked in good touch. The pressure of performing was more on Dhoni but the Indian skipper went about his business in signature style as runs came at a good rate in the middle overs.
Dhoni made good use of his feet, both to the pacers and spinners. His first boundary was a pull off Tim Southee before smashing left-arm spinner Santer for a straight six to cross the 9000 run mark. Dhoni ended up with six fours and three sixes.
Kohli was all class from the word go. After getting a reprieve from Taylor, he was unstoppable. It was only fitting that he stayed unbeaten till the end. He ended the game in exhilarating fashion, punishing Trent Boult for three fours and a six in what turned out to be the penultimate over of the game, in which India got 22 runs.
Pandey too remained unbeaten on 24 and hit the winning boundary as the duo shared a 97-run unbeaten stand for the fourth wicket.
Jimmy Neesham hit a half-century to lead New Zealand's superb recovery after a mid innings collapse in the third One-Day International against India at the IS Bindra stadium in Mohali, on Sunday.
Neesham and Matt Henry shared a blistering 84-run stand for the ninth wicket to help New Zealand post a healthy 285 after Indian spinners reduced the visitors to a precarious 199 for eight.
New Zealand were set for their first 300 plus total of the series after Tom Latham (61) and Ross Taylor (44) laid the foundation with a solid 73-run stand for the third wicket.
However, Taylor's dismissal led to a flurry of wickets though New Zealand still managed to reach close to the 300 milestone, thanks to a valiant partnership between Neesham (57 off 47) and Henry (39 not out off 37).
It seemed New Zealand would not last even 40 overs after slumping from a promising 152 for two, before Neesham and Henry brought the visitors back into the contest with some sensible batting.
For India, Amit Mishra and Kedar Jadhav were among the wickets again, taking two and three respectively. Pacer Umesh Yadav scalped three wickets as well but proved expensive, giving away 75 runs in 10 overs.
After losing their seventh straight toss on the tour, New Zealand were expectedly put in to bat by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni considering the dew factor.
With the ball coming nicely on to the bat, New Zealand were off to their best start of the series coasting to 64 for one in 10 overs.
If the visitors were to pose a challenging for the hosts, it was imperative that senior batsmen, opener Martin Guptill (27) and Taylor, struck some form.
Guptill, who had 171 runs in eight innings on this tour prior to this game, began on a promising note. He hit Umesh Yadav on the up for a cracking four through point before dispatching Hardik Pandya for a comfortable six over long on.
The opener followed it up with another big six over extra cover and a slash through point in Pandya’s subsequent over.
The in-form Latham was batting patiently at the other end. He got into the act by pulling Yadav for a six. And just when it seemed Guptill was set to end his barren run, Yadav trapped him in front of the stumps with a fuller length ball that moved in sharply.
High on confidence after scoring a fluent hundred in Delhi, captain Kane Williamson (22) looked in fine form until he failed to spot a straighter one off part-time spinner Jadhav to leave his team at 80 for two in 13 overs.
Dhoni brought the part-time off-spinner ahead of his two specialist spinners and he was quick to repay his captain's faith, just like he did in the earlier games.
New Zealand needed a partnership to get going again. That was when Latham and Taylor stitched a solid 73-run stand to steady the innings.
With the pitch playing true and Taylor getting back among runs, the first 300-plus score of the series looked a straight forward task.
However, Taylor failed to carry after getting his eye in after getting deceived by a beauty from Mishra. The leggie got one to drift in and turn away to beat Taylor as Dhoni completed a sharp stumping.
That wicket triggered a middle-order collapse for the second game in row and New Zealand found themselves reeling at 180 for seven from a promising 151 for 2.
Mishra and Jadhav did the bulk of the damage as New Zealand's hopes of a formidable total were dashed in quick time. Mishra bowled another beauty to get Luke Ronchi stumped while Jadhav was a tad lucky to remove Corey Anderson off a full toss.
He also claimed the wicket of Latham to finish with superb figures of three for 29 in five overs while Mishra conceded 46 runs and took couple of wickets in 10 overs.
Neesham led the recovery with some good strokeplay at the end, as the visitors managed to put 74 runs from the last 10 overs and give their bowlers a good total to bowl at.