Mumbai: With the season of Diwali in full swing, Ross Taylor lit up the fireworks at the Brabourne Stadium as New Zealand overcame the Board President XI side by 33 runs in the second warm-up game here on Thursday.
Having tasted defeat in the first warm-up game two days ago, the visitors will be in high spirits as they gear up for the challenging ODI series against India.
Opting to bat first on a cool and hazy morning, the Kiwis got off to a flyer.
Displaying his aggressiveness, Colin Munro put up 46 runs for the opening stand with Martin Guptill before Jayadev Unadkat got rid of him in the 8th over.
Skipper Kane Williamson did not last long either as Shahbaz Nadeem bowled him through the gate.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure and came close to send Martin Guptill packing, had it not been for the plump catches on two consecutive deliveries.
Guptill failed to eke out the most of his gifted lifelines as he played one straight back to Karn Sharma, in an attempt to chip the ball over the bowlers head.
With two new batsmen at the crease, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor boosted the New Zealand innings, striking an elegant 166-run century partnership for the 4th wicket in just 137 balls, with the latter giving a taste of his big-hitting prowess.
The Board President's side did not learn much from their previous mistakes as Shreyas Iyer dropped the dangerous Taylor on 77 in the 32nd over of the innings.
They soon paid the cost as Taylor fired a quickfire ton in no time, before retiring for an 83-ball 102 (14x4,1x6).
Latham, also followed the footsteps of his teammate as he cruised to a composed 108 off 97 deliveries(7x4,2x6) following to which he retired out. The absence of Taylor wasn't felt, as newcomer Henry Nicholls went after the bowlers.
The southpaw's cameo soon came to an end after Iyer dismissed him with a stunning catch at mid-on, when he miscued his pull off a short ball from Unadkat.
Santner also showed what he can do with the bat, putting up an impressive cameo despite constantly losing partners at the other end.
Unadkat rattled the lower order, claiming 4-57 to be the pick of the bowlers as the opposition set a target of 344 to chase. In reply, the home side started on a strong note with Prithvi Shaw and Karun Nair putting up a 51-run stand.
Mitchell Santner soon spun his magic, taking out Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant in quick intervals. Those two setbacks did not affect Karun Nair in any way as he struck another half-century partnership, this time with captain Shreyas Iyer.
Having scored crucial knocks in the previous encounter, the duo did not find the same sort of luck this time as they departed through soft dismissals.
With the required run rate climbing up, it seemed like the Board Presidents batting order would crumble like a pack of cards, as Milind and Shivam Choudhary failed to aid the cause.
Gurkeerat Mann, however, had some other plans. Scoring all round the wicket and cautiously playing each of his shots, the right-hander kept the chase alive with a steady knock of 65 from 45 deliveries.
At the opposite end, Karn Sharma also came to the party, as the duo added another commendable 50 run partnership. With 114 needed in the last 14 overs, the Board President XI faltered as they planned to switch gears.
Karn Sharma was the first to make his way, as he found Matt Henry at mid-on trying in an attempt to smack Southee. Southee took out Mann in a similar fashion, as the right-hander tried to take the aerial route, but nicked a top edge that landed straight to Munro at mid-on.
Unadkat, who caused damage with the ball earlier did the same with the bat as he battered the Kiwi bowlers, dealing in boundaries. With Kulkarni at the other end, the duo turned the game on its head with a blazing 64 run stand.
But as the Saurashtra all-rounder got out, his dismissal was the final nail in the coffin as Williamson and co eased to a 33 wicket victory in the end.
Brief scores: New Zealand 343/9 in 50 overs (Tom Latham 108, Ross Taylor 102, Martin Guptill 32; Unadkat 57-4, Karn 45-2) beat Board President’s XI 310/10 in 47.1 overs (Mann 65, Nair 53; Santner 44-3)...