New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets
HAMILTON, New Zealand, Jan 31, (AP): Trent Boult took five wickets for 21 runs to lead New Zealand to a face-saving eight-wicket win over India on Thursday in the fourth one-day cricket international.
India had already won the five-match series 3-0, outplaying New Zealand by eight wickets in the first match, 90 runs in the second and seven wickets in the third. But New Zealand finally found conditions to their liking – hot conditions which made the ball swing – and in the absence of captain Virat Kohli, who was rested, and M.S. Dhoni, who has a hamstring strain, bowled out India for 92 in 30.5 overs.
New Zealand reached 93-2 in only 14.4 overs, concluding the match before the scheduled dinner break. Ross Taylor made 37 in an unbroken 54-run partnership with Henry Nicholls (30 not out) to see New Zealand home, clinching the win with a six and a four from the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal. “I think it was one of our worst performances with the bat for a long, long time,” standin captain Rohit Sharma said.
“Games like this can happen. You’ve got to give credit to the New Zealand bowlers; after losing three matches to come out and bowl like that was a magnificent effort.” Boult was thrilled to find the swing which is the foundation of his bowling success – he is ranked 10th in the world in ODIs – and used it expertly to wreck India’s top and middle order.
The full ball, swinging into the stumps late, was too much for India batsmen who fl ourished in more placid conditions in the first three matches. India lost three wickets for 33 runs and slumped to 55-8 before some tail-end resistance took it past 88, its previous lowest score against New Zealand.
“When you get conditions like this you obviously want to make the most of it,” Boult said. “Coming off three pretty good wickets for batting, it was nice to come across something like this that gave us something to offer at the start and it was nice to put some pressure on the visitors.”
Boult bowled his 10 overs consecutively, showing reluctance to give up the ball in such advantageous conditions. Colin de Grandhomme also bowled 10 consecutive overs of medium pace and swing, taking 3-26 including two wickets in his opening over.
Without the steadying influences of Kohli and Dhoni, India crumbled. Once New Zealand broke the opening partnership between Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply for the first time in the series, it was able to expose a middle order it hadn’t previously seen. The New Zealand bowlers had taken only nine wickets in the three previous matches. Sharma was promoted to captain India in Kohli’s absence and in his 200th ODI.