Kohli ton in vain as Latham, Taylor give NZ 1-0 lead

Tom Latham and Ross Taylor batted responsibly to give New Zealand a seven-wicket victory at the Wankhede Stadium.

Tom Latham (left) and Ross Taylor added 200 runs for the fourth wicket.   -  AP

Virat Kohli gave a reason to rejoice for the 20,000-plus Mumbaikars who turned up at the Wankhede Stadium to mark the festive weekend with his 31st ODI hundred in his 200th ODI appearance. However, Trent Boult's superlative pace-bowling performance coupled with Ross Taylor and Tom Latham's exploits with the willow ensured New Zealand put an end to the extended celebrations; the visiting side took a lead in the three-match series with a convincing six-wicket win on Sunday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kohli's sheet-anchoring 121 was backed by little support from the other end thanks to a combination of Boult's brutal bowling and poor shot selection by India's middle order batsmen. It meant India was restricted to 280 for eight on a trademark Wankhede pitch, with decent bounce and a bit of assistance for the spinners. However, Latham fit into his new role of a middle-order batsman to perfection in the company of senior statesman Taylor to ensure the Kiwis never found themselves under pressure in its run chase. The chase eventually ended with a four through mid-wicket by Henry Nicholls off the last ball of the penultimate over.

Read: Kohli smashes 31st ton, second only to Tendulkar now

Latham, the left-hander, swapped his batting position with fellow left-hander Colin Munro, who was sent in to partner Martin Guptill in a bid to make the most of the Powerplay. But when Latham joined Taylor in the middle, not only had both the openers been dismissed but even skipper Kane Williamson had fallen to the wrist-spin of Kuldeep Yadav.

New Zealand chase stats
  • Ross Taylor and Tom Latham's 200-run partnership was New Zealand's highest ever fourth-wicket fourth-wicket partnership in ODIs. Jesse Ryder and Corey Anderson put on 191 against West Indies in 2014.
  • The duo's partnership is also New Zealand's highest partnership for any wicket against India, eclipsing Scott Styris and Taylor's 188-run stand in Dambulla in 2010.
  • New Zealand also recorded the highest run-chase at the Wankhede Stadium, surpassing India's famous run chase against Sri Lanka during the 2011 World Cup final.

Laying the anchor

At 80 for three in the 18th over, the target of 281 looked a stiff task. But Taylor and Latham batted sensibly, preferring to first rebuild the innings and depriving the spin duo of Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. It resulted in the spinners, especially Yadav, offering freebies which were duly dispatched to the boundary with elan. The duo employed sweep against the spinners at will, with Latham even playing the reverse-sweep as he grew in confidence.

The pitch was very sticky when we batted that it seemed 250 was a great score. It was also turning a bit. But when New Zealand batted, the ball was coming on to the bat and with the dew on, it was very hard on the wrist spinners. - Dinesh Karthik.

Tom had played the sweep effectively here during the last Test series, so he just kept going with it. It was also great to see him play a reverse-sweep, something he said he had never played in a match so far. - Ross Taylor.

At the mid-way stage, the scores of the two sides were similar. However, the fact that neither Latham nor Taylor threw their wickets away turned out to be the difference between them. By the time Kumar got rid of Taylor, Latham had raised his bat for a fluent hundred, the scores were tied and most of the stands had been emptied.

Earlier in the afternoon, despite Kohli continuing his love affair with the ODI format, he had little support from the other end.

Early wickets

While the openers were blown away by Boult – Shikhar Dhawan caught behind and Rohit Sharma done in by pace – Kedar Jadhav wasted yet another opportunity to capitalise on the opportunity to make the most of the No. 4 position. Jadhav threw it away by spooning one straight back to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.

Kohli: 'We were 20-30 runs short'

Dinesh Karthik then gave Kohli the much-required support and the Tamil Nadu batsman, preferred over Manish Pandey in the middle order, with the biggest partnership of the innings. However, just when Karthik was looking set for a big one, a miscued pull shot brought his innings to an abrupt end. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya then got starts but couldn't really capitalise on the death overs.

Kohli, on the other hand, was in his elements, driving and flicking pacers and spinners alike with aplomb. He did get a reprieve on 29 when Santner at cover dropped an uppish drive off Colin de Grandhomme. From that point onwards, however, Kohli played a trademark Kohli innings. He paced his innings to perfection, upping the scoring rate in the death. His straight six off Tim Southee that thudded into the press box glass and a flick over mid-wicket for one-bounce four off Adam Milne minutes earlier would be remembered for a long time.

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