The Indian Cricket team in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli has beaten New Zealand by a margin of 35 runs in the 5th ODI at Wellington on Sunday, 3 February 2019.
Ambati Rayudu was the star performer for India, falling just short of a century. He, for now, looks to have settled the number 4 debate leading to the World Cup 2019 held in England.
Chasing a small target of 253, New Zealand had a bad start and later the team crumbled and were bundled out for 217 in under 45 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the bowlers for India. He picked up 3 wickets and giving away only 41 runs in his 10 overs. Mohammad Shami and Hardik Pandya each took two wickets while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav claimed a wicket each.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 3, 2019
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India vs New Zealand: As it happened
Batting first India had a despicable start as India lost four wickets for mere 18 runs. Rohit Sharma (2), Shikhar Dhawan (6), Shubman Gill (7) and MS Dhoni (1), all were dismissed in front of the Trent Boult and Matt Henry’s storm.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar walked in with intent and optimism. He and Rayudu picked up the Indian innings. The duo batted for nearly 20 overs, protecting India from viscous bowling oh Boult and Henry. They added 98 runs partnership. Shankar fell 5 runs short of half century. He was run out on 45 (64) which included 4 boundaries.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 3, 2019
Then, Kedar Jadhav joined Rayudu. He made 34 (45). Rayudu also fell on 90 (113). He hit 8 boundaries and 4 sixes. Hardik Pandya provided the final carnage. He hit 3 sixes in an over and a total of 5 in all in his 22 ball 45. India made 252 and were all out in 49.5 overs.
Matt Henry took the most 4 wickets for New Zealand followed by 3 wickets of Trent Boult. Jimmy Neesham picked a wicket.
New Zealand Innings
Chasing a low total of 253, New Zealand too lost early wickets. Henry Nicholas made 8 (15) when Shami got his wicket. Colin Munro (24) was also bowled by Mohammad Shami. Ross Taylor made just 1 when he was caught before the wicket by Hardik Pandya. Captain Kane Williamson, Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham all got starts but couldn’t go on to score a big one. They scored 39 (73), 37 (49) and 44 (32) respectively.
Grandhomme (11) and Santner (22) too couldn’t held New Zealand cross the finishing line. Eventually, New Zealand were dismissed for 217 and fell 35 runs short of the target.
India won the series, 4-1. This is India’s first ODI series win in New Zealand after 10 long years.
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— BCCI (@BCCI) February 4, 2019
At the post-match presentation, captain Rohit Sharma said, “Especially after the Hamilton loss, that was a big loss for us the way we lost there. At the toss I said we needed to come together as a team and we did that. Four down, we needed someone to apply, and Rayudu and Vijay Shankar did that. The way Hardik and Kedar played was magnificent. We showed a lot of character. With the ball as well. The wicket got flat at the end, with the dew.”
“At one point it looked like it would be an easy chase. But lot of people put their hands up and got us through. I knew there was some moisture in the pitch. If the series was on the line, I would’ve batted second. Wasn’t easy after losing four wickets at the start. Thought 250 was a very good score on that pitch. Bowlers got crucial breakthroughs at critical times. When you want to win games, you’ve got to find the right balance. Coming here and beating NZ at home wasn’t going to be easy. The achievement we’ve had today is a great achievement to have,” Rohit concluded.
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