Virat Kohli yet again led the chase for India scoring 78 runs © Getty Images
By Abhijit Banare
Jan 22, 2014
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni‘s half-centuries weren’t enough to pull India past the finish line as they lost the second One-Day International (ODI) to New Zealand by 15 runs via Duckworth-Lewis Method (D/L) at Hamilton. With this loss the Indians have been unseated from the top of ODI Rankings by Australia.
The match was curtailed to 42 overs a side after rain interrupted play during the first innings. Chasing a revised target of 297 under D/L method, India were pushed on the backfoot by the dismissals of openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan after a sluggish start. Both the wickets were bagged by Tim Southee who completed 100 ODI wickets. Dhawan tried to break the shackles and was clean bowled scoring 12 while Rohit got a feather edge and was caught behind for 20. Credit to the opening bowlers Kyle Mills and Mitchell McClenaghan who kept the batsmen in check with their accuracy.
In the previous match, after Dhawan and Rohit were dismissed, India still had the required rate under control but this time around it was touching the eight-run mark and there wasn’t much luxury to settle in.
For a moment it seemed like even Kohli was struggling. He twice offered sharp chances when he slapped a ball to Jesse Ryder at short covers and then a bat-pad catch was a tough one for Southee to grab on is follow through. But most of the tentativeness were dispelled when he bludgeoned a six off Southee over covers in the same over. Since then, both Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored at a brisk rate to keep India’s hopes alive. Rahane didn’t go for extravagant shots but played along the ground, something he is known for. On the other end, Kohli continued his show from Napier coming out of the crease and lofting the ball at will. Just when the partnership had brought life back in the game, McClenaghan was brought back and he struck by removing Rahane through a short ball for 36. They shared a 90-run partnership.
By the 26th over, the required rate had already reached 10 runs an over with skipper MS Dhoni on the crease. While the two batsmen weren’t shy of hitting the big shots, at the same time they were up to their usual task of stealing the singles and keeping the scoreboard moving. Kohli completed his fifty and was well on course for another ton.Southee yet again helped the Kiwis keep the situation under control by dismissing Kohli for 78. He went after a short ball but had to fetch it and ended up giving a catch to mid-on. From thereon, it was always Dhoni’s responsibility of manning the chase. Suresh Raina helped with a cameo of 35 from 22 balls.
Luck was in favour of the Indians when the Kiwis missed sharp chances towards the end. However, New Zealand still fancied their chances if they got the wicket of Dhoni and they got precisely what they were looking for. In the 40th over, Corey Anderson struck twice removing the Indian skipper for 56 and then bowling the last hope, Ravindra Jadeja for 12. Anderson who made a useful contribution with the bat got three wickets. Rain stopped the match with three balls remaining and New Zealand were declared winners thereby taking a 2-0 lead in the five match series.
India came in to bat with the burden of a target revised by D/L method after the Kiwis posted 271 for seven. It was a team effort from the top order with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor registering half-centuries and then a 17-ball blitzkrieg from Corey Anderson got them 44 more runs in quicktime. Ishant Sharma was yet again off target but Mohammed Shami saved them from more damage by striking quick wickets in the end.
New Zealand 271 for 7 in 42 overs (Martin Guptill 44, Kane Williamson 77, Ross Taylor 57; Mohammed Shami 3 for 55) beat India 277 for 9 in 41.3 overs (Virat Kohli 78, MS Dhoni 56; Tim Southee 4 for 72, Corey Anderson 3 for 67) by 15 runs via D/L method.
Man of the Match: Kane Williamson
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)