By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Jan 25, 2014
Martin Guptill‘s sparkling 111 took New Zealand to 314 in third One-Day International (ODI) against India at Auckland. Although New Zealand’s top order setup a good base for an assault, they stuttered a touch before the tail hit out to extend their score. New Zealand have a very good score on the board and the Indians would be under pressure to chase this down and keep themselves alive in the series.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to field. The only change in the Indian ranks was expected as Varun Aaron came in place of Ishant Sharma. New Zealand made a surprising change as Hamish Bennett replaced the experience Kyle Mills.
As has been the case, Jesse Ryder began with a flourish and hit a few boundaries. The Indians were caught a bit off-guard with the odd shape of the playing area as quite a few boundaries went square. Ryder was threatening, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar snapped him with that incoming delivery that has troubled him in this series.
In came the in-form Kane Williamson and along with Guptill, he built a solid platform. Aaron was brought into bowl inside the mandatory powerplay and worked some pace. However, once the spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja came into play, the scoring rate slowed down considerably.
It was during that phase that both batsmen worked it around and farmed the strike. They gradually built the innings as India applied the pressure on them and did not let them score easily.
However, Guptill sped away after getting to his half century and Williamson continued to bat stably. The track posed no problems as such, although there was some early bounce and carry to the wicket-keeper; some of the deliveries climbed and were given wides.
As New Zealand approached the batting powerplay, Williamson was bowled by Mohammed Shami. The 150 of the partnership had just been completed and New Zealand looked good for a lot more in the overs to come. Corey Anderson was given a promotion and he announced himself with a six over long-on. However, Ashwin fired it in and Anderson was bowled for eight.
New Zealand then slid a touch as Brendon McCullum recorded his second consecutive duck as he cut Aaron straight to point. Ross Taylor was run-out.
Meanwhile, Luke Ronchi smashed a quickfire 38 with three huge hits. It was that burst that has helped New Zealand to their eventual score.
Towards the end, India bowled quite a few tight overs, but the tailenders stretched it above 300. Tim Southee’s late assault helped them after a few nervous moments.
New Zealand 314 in 50 overs (Martin Guptill 111, Kane WIlliamson 65, Mohammed Shami 2 for 84) vs India.
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