Pacer Trent Boult’s carnage with the ball helped New Zealand thrash India by eight wickets in the fourth and penultimate One Day International match here on Thursday.
Although the hosts had already lost the five-match ODI rubber, this morale-boosting victory over the visitors in under three-and-half hours might help New Zealand in the preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Electing to field, Boult’s five-wicket haul and Colin de Grandhomme’s disciplined bowling wreaked havoc on India’s batting line-up to bowl them out for 92 and then the batters applied themselves to overhaul the target in just 14.4 overs.
Boult’s 5/21, his fifth five-wicket haul, is the second best figures for New Zealand against India in the limited overs format. Previously it was pacer Shane Bond (6/19) in 2005 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Chasing 92 runs, New Zealand lost their first wicket off the fourth delivery of their innings. Martin Guptill (14) slammed two boundaries and one six in his four-ball stay. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed the New Zealand opener.
Kane Williamson (11), who seemed good in the middle was next to depart. Thanks to Bhuvneshwar’s brilliant delivery which found the edge of Williamson’s bat and landed in wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik’s gloves. He was dismissed in the seventh over when the scoreboard read 39.
Henry Nicholas (30 not out) and veteran batsman Ross Taylor (37 not out) then applied themselves perfectly and completed the proceeding with ease.
Despite having a long batting line-up, India failed drastically as only two batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan (13) and Hardik Pandya (16) — managed to have a double-digit score.
Towards the end, when India were reeling at 55/8, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (15) and leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (18 not out) forged a small but crucial 25- run partnership to help India reach 80 runs. Chahal was also the highest scorer for India.
Put in to bat, openers Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (7) started the proceeding on a positive note, forging a 21-run stand before Dhawan was dismissed by Boult in the sixth over.
From that point, Boult’s carnage began. In the very next over, skipper Rohit was also sent packing by the pacer. Rohit played 23 balls and got caught and bowled.
Middle-order batsmen Ambati Rayudu (0) Dinesh Karthik (0), and Kedar Jadhav (1) were dismissed by Grandhomme and Boult.
Debutant Shubman Gill (9) also failed to live up to the expectations as the youngster got caught and bowled by Boult.
Hardik, however, tried to stabilise things in the middle with the lower order batsmen but in the process, he was sent back to the pavilion in the 20th over.
Kuldeep, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1), Chahal, and Khaleel Ahmed (5) then tried to help India get past 100 run mark but failed in doing so and as a result, the visitors were bowled out in just 30.5 overs.
India: 92/10 (Yuzvendra Chahal 18 not out, Hardik Pandya 16; Trent Boult 5/21)
New Zealand: 93/2 (Ross Taylor 37 not out; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/25)