Ravindra Jadeja on Saturday surpassed former India captains Mahendra Singh and Kapil Dev to set a unique record in the second ODI against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
Coming into bat at seventh, Jadeja played a gritty knock of 55 runs in 73 deliveries and at one point looked set to take India over the line.
Meanwhile, it was the all-rounder’s seventh fifty at the position. Dhoni and Dev, on the other hand, had six 50+ scores while batting at the seventh position.
The 31-year-old, though, missed the opportunity to become the hero of the day despite putting a desperate effort. In his 73-ball knock of 55 runs, he shared a 76-run partnership with Navdeep Saini. The latter played the innings of his life and scored 45 off 49 balls.
After Saini’s dismissal, Jadeja joined hands with Yuzvendra Chahal but it was all too late as New Zealand bowlers held their nerves to restrict India at 251. Chasing 274, India never looked on course as they had lost the first half of the batting in only 96 runs before eventually losing the match by 22 runs.
For the Blackcaps, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett, Kyle Jamieson and de Grandhomme took two wickets each while James Nessham contributed with a wicket and a run out of Chahal.
Earlier, put into bat first, Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill shone for them with the willow. Guptil gave the home team a perfect start with his run-a-ball innings of 79. He shared an opening stand of 93 runs with Henry Nicholls who made 41 off 59.
Guptill was undone by a brilliant fielding effort by Shardul Thakur who got the opener run out by KL Rahul. His wicket opened the floodgate as the Indian bowlers ran an onslaught on the Kiwi line-up to take seven wickets in 55 runs and reduced to 197/8.
Meanwhile, Taylor brought forward all his experience and took debutant tailender Kyle Jamieson to bring some respite to his team. In his unbeaten innings of 73 runs, he registered an unbeaten partnership of 76 runs in 54 balls with Jamieson who made 25 off 24 deliveries as well.