Kohli, bowlers inspire big win
If debutant all-rounder Hardik Pandya (3/31) stole the limelight in the bowling department, it was another flawless effort from \'Chase Master\' Kohli, whose 85-run knock came off 81 balls. He struck nine fours before effortlessly lofting Ish Sodhi for his only six to finish the match in style.It was rearguard action from New Zealand that saw them reach 190 after being down at 106 for 8.
Dharamsala: Virat Kohli held centrestage with a delightful unbeaten 85 after a collective bowling effort as India cruised to an easy six-wicket victory over New Zealand taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, in Dharamsala on Sunday.After bowling out New Zealand for 190 in 43.5 overs, India reached the target in a mere 33.1 overs in a match that turned out to be thoroughly one-sided.
If debutant all-rounder Hardik Pandya (3/31) stole the limelight in the bowling department, it was another flawless effort from 'Chase Master' Kohli, whose 85-run knock came off 81 balls. He struck nine fours before effortlessly lofting Ish Sodhi for his only six to finish the match in style.It was rearguard action from New Zealand that saw them reach 190 after being down at 106 for 8.
If not for Tom Latham, who remained unbeaten on 79 and Tim Southee (55), New Zealand would have never imagined to reach near the 200-run mark.
Southee played the role of an aggressor and together with Latham stitched quickfire 71 runs off just 58 balls for the ninth wicket to give New Zealand bowlers something to bowl at.
But India hardly had any problems in overwhelming the target with vice-captain Kohli again showing his supreme command in the 50-over format.
India got off to a brisk start in their pursuit for 191-run target with Rohit Sharma (14) and Ajinkya Rahane (33) adding 49 runs for the opening stand.
Rahane looked in ominous touch as he dealt in boundaries initially, hitting Doug Bracewell for two fours in the fourth over.
Rahane's was a short but sweet knock which had class written all over it. Of his two sixes, one was hit straight down the ground while the other was well lofted over covers.
Rohit struck the first six for India, top-edging Southee over fine-leg. Rahane followed suit and pulled Bracewell for two hits over fence in the next over - the first one over fine leg and next over deep square leg.But Bracewell put an end to the partnership when he removed Rohit, trapping the batsman in front of the wicket with a full length delivery.
Rohit's departure brought Kohli at the middle and the vice-captain opened his score with a scorching drive to the cover boundary. Earlier, Pandya (3/31), who was handed over his ODI cap by legendary Kapil Dev, opened the attack along side comeback man Umesh Yadav (2/31) as the duo wreaked havoc in the initial overs to rattle the Black Caps innings.
Besides Pandya and Yadav, leg-spinner Amit Mishra too shone with the ball with figures of 3 for 49.Opting to bat after winning the toss, India witnessed a dream start as they reduced New Zealand to 43 for four in 10.4 overs.Debutant Pandya gave India the first breakthrough in the final ball of the second over when he removed out-of-form Martin Guptill (12). Santner with his next delivery as the batsman got faint tickle to Dhoni behind the stumps.
While wickets kept on tumbling from the other end, Latham went about his business with a cool head and in the process brought up a quality half century off 77 balls with the help of five hits to the fence.With New Zealand struggling at 65 for seven, Latham and Bracewell (15) shared 41-run partnership for the eighth wicket to keep New Zealand alive.Leg-spinner Mishra cut short the partnership when Bracewell lobbed a delivery on the middle and leg straight to Rahane at short midwicket.