Debutant Matt Henry (centre) sizzled for New Zealand breaking the Indian top order. He picked four wickets © Getty Images
By Abhijit Banare
Jan 31, 2014
India‘s dismal performance on the tour to New Zealand continued as they went down chasing once again by 87 runs in the fifth One-Day International (ODI) at Wellington. India were bowled out for 216 runs chasing 304 set by Ross Taylor’s consecutive ton (102) and Kane Williamson’s 88.
The Indians pushed themselves on the backfoot from the word go with the openers struggling to score in the first powerplay. If the lack of runs wasn’t enough, the end of first 10 overs saw the dismissal of both the openers. Rohit Sharma was out playing a bizarre late cut through the slips and quite obviously was caught by Ross Taylor. Shikhar Dhawan survived some close moments before being dismissed by debutant Matt Henry giving him his maiden international wicket.
India were already lagging behind when Ajinkya Rahane attempted an over-ambitions flick and missed to get out leg-before giving Henry his second wicket. Virat Kohli managed to brush off initial nervousness under pressure and started to play smoothly along with Ambati Rayudu who played some well-timed shots. Unlike New Zealand the Indians failed to stitch enough partnerships. After playing a patient innings of 20 runs, Rayudu came down the track to Henry and ended up slicing to Kane Williamson at gully.
It was yet again left to MS Dhoni and Kohli to do the chasing and this time around the required rate was much higher to their liking. Dhoni immediately completed a little feat by opening his account with a single and completing 8,000 ODI runs . Kohli did play a few big shots but he wasn’t in his fluent touch as he did in the first two matches of the series. The pacers did their job of striking at regular intervals, but once again the unsung hero was Nathan McCullum who foxed the batsmen regularly. Dhoni was itching to loft McCullum numerous times but failed to find the idea length ball in the slot. Dhoni even survived a close leg-before appeal. Moments later, McCullum was rewarded for his persistence when Kohli charged down and lofted the ball straight to long-on. With Kohli’s wicket there wasn’t much hope left since the chase required big hits from both ends at regular intervals.
Dhoni too found it tough to get away as Ashwin (7) and Ravindra Jadeja (5) departed in quick time. After hanging on for a while Dhoni was caught in the deep for 47 to give Williamson his second wicket. The tails-enders dragged around before being bowled out for 216.
The difference between the two teams throughout the series has been the lack of solid partnerships at the top in batting and accurate pace bowling which could restrict if not pick wickets. Before the Kiwi bowlers put up a disciplined performance, Williamson continued his dream run with yet another half-century and breaking a few records. Williamson is only the second batsman after Yasir Hamid to score five fifties in a five-match series. While Williamson’s search for a ton went in vain as he was dismissed for 88, Taylor slammed his second century in as many matches scoring 102. It was also the 5,000th international century.
India have a lot of introspection to do, right from batting, fielding to bowling. They have just about a week before they meet the Kiwis again in the two-match Test series.
New Zealand 303 for 5 in 50 overs (Kane Williamson 88, Ross Taylor 102; Varun Aaron 2 for 60) beat India 216 in 49.4 overs (Virat Kohli 82, MS Dhoni 47; Matt Henry 4 for 38) by 87 runs.
Man of the Match: Ross Taylor
(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)