New Delhi: New Zealand held their nerves and registered a 6-run win as India failed to cross the finish line in the second ODI at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Thursday to level the 5-match series 1-1.
Chasing 243, India were in a precarious position (183/8). However, Hardik Pandya, who starred with the ball on his ODI debut in Dharamsala, and Umesh Yadav brought India close to victory. However, Pandya fell in the 49th over and New Zealand made sure they did not allow India to seal a come-from-behind win.
Indian chase did not start on a bright note as Rohit Sharma got out early. Virat Kohli could not do much with the bat as he got out trying to direct a ball outside the leg-stump.
India were pushed on the backfoot after Ajinkya Rahane and Manish Pandey were dismissed in a quick succession.
Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni revived India’s hopes to win the match and take 2-0 lead in the series. But Jadhav’s dismissal off Matt Henry’s bowling brought New Zealand back into the game. India were dealt with a major blow when Tim Southee took a stunning catch off his own bowling to end Dhoni’s stay in the middle.
Then struck Martin Guptill to remove Axar Patel and Amit Mishra in the same over. While Pandya and Umesh were involved in a 49-run stand, Kane Williamson-led side dashed India’s hopes of a thrilling win.
Earlier, despite Kane Williamson's ton, New Zealand squandered a big opportunity to put up a respective total on the board as India restricted the Kiwi innings for 242/9.
The visitors were in a solid position (204/3) to put up a big total on the board but some careless strokemaking and tight bowling from Indian bowlers derailed the New Zealand innings.
Put in to bat, visitors lost Martin Guptill in the first over after he misread a Umesh Yadav delivery. However, Tom Latham and skipper Williamson joined hands to put New Zealand back on track with a 120-run partnership. Latham, who was New Zealand’s top run scorer in the first ODI, got out off part-timer Kedar Jadhav’s delivery after scoring 46.
Ross Taylor, who has had a torrid time on the India tour, was next to go after he mistimed a slog-sweep off Amit Mishra’s bowling and gave an easy catch to Rohit Sharma in the deep. While Corey Anderson managed to accompany Williamson for a while, India managed to push the Kiwi side on the backfoot with the help of accurate bowling.
Williamson, meanwhile, once again showed class as he notched up his 8th ODI ton. The Kiwi skipper, who had some trouble with his hands as he moved closer t0 100-run mark, was flawless in his 118-run innings.
However, just when he was looking good to push New Zealand’s towards big total, Amit Mishra’s double strike commenced the free fall of wickets for New Zealand. Mishra, who already had dismissed Taylor earlier, first trapped Anderson before the wickets and then in his next over managed to remove Williamson. Axar Patel chipped in with a wicket after Luke Ronchi edged one to Dhoni.
Bumrah joined the party (35/3) to cut through the New Zealand lower order as India restricted the Kiwi side for 242.
India had made no changes to the team that defeated the Kane Williamson-led unit in Dharamsala while New Zealand have brought in Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Anton Devcich to replace Doug Bracewell, Jimmy Neesham and Ish Sodhi in the playing XI.
India XI: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (Captain / wicketkeeper), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
New Zealand XI: Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (Captain), Anton Devcich, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Matt Henry....