Kiwis foil Pandya to pull off thrilling win

Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav added 49 runs off 48 balls for the ninth wicket to reignite India’s hopes of completing a chase of 243 against New Zealand in Delhi, but with 11 runs needed off eight deliveries, Pandya’s tennis-like shot off Trent Boult spelt doom.

India's Jasprit Bumrah is bowled by Tim Southee of New Zealand in the second ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Neither the target nor the opposition was intimidating. In such a scenario, it takes a mix of overconfidence and lack of respect for the rival to fall short. On Thursday evening, India’s somewhat casual approach with the bat resulted in a narrow series-levelling victory for New Zealand at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here.

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For the better part of the second One-Day International (ODI), India looked in control. But the Kiwis gradually regained lost ground, saw off Hardik Pandya’s 32-ball 36 cameo and snatched a six–run victory to make it 1-1 in the five-match series.

Pandya and Umesh Yadav added 49 runs off 48 balls for the ninth wicket to reignite India’s hopes. However, with 11 runs needed off eight deliveries, Pandya’s tennis-like shot off Trent Boult spelt doom. In the final over, India needed 10 runs to win but Tim Southee yorked last-man Jasprit Bumrah.

As a result, India folded at 236 in chase of New Zealand’s 242 for nine, built largely around skipper and Man-of-the-Match Kane Williamson’s 118 and his second-wicket stand of 120 with in-form Tom Latham.

India looked in serious trouble at 73 for four in the 20th over after losing two quick wickets. Thereafter, Kedar Jadhav and Mahendra Singh Dhoni stitched a 66-run stand but India steadily fell behind the asking run-rate.

 

Jadhav departed in trying to run the ball down to third man, Dhoni exited when paceman Southee pulled off a right-handed return-catch, Axar Patel holed out off a full-toss from part-time bowler Martin Guptill who also accounted for Amit Mishra. Thereafter, Pandya and Yadav launched a counter-attack but the Kiwis were not to be denied a hard-earned victory.

Six for 33

The target set by New Zealand looked inadequate after the team tumbled from 204 for three in the 41st over. The loss of six wickets, in the space of 52 deliveries that produced just 33 runs, gave the team a sub-250 total. But it was to prove enough for the evening.

Mishra, carted for 60 runs in 10 overs, had a good bargain as he claimed Williamson, Taylor and Anderson. Bumrah claimed the last three wickets and kept the Kiwis in check.

After being asked to bat, New Zealand lost Guptill to the second ball of the innings when the batsmen misread an away-swinger and lost his off-stump. But thereafter, Williamson found his lost touch to score a century – first against India and eighth of his ODI career – during which he overcame bouts of cramps to keep alive hopes of an imposing New Zealand tally.

Williamson smashed a six and 14 boundaries and Latham carried on with his form to score 46 inclusive of six boundaries and a six.

After 20 overs, the score was 115 for one and the loss of Guptill was hardly hurting New Zealand. But in the over that followed, part-timer Jadhav won a leg-before decision to deny Latham a well-deserved half-century.

A struggling Ross Taylor brought down the run-rate as the right-hander appeared desperate to end his poor run. His struggle eventually ended when he holed out to mid-wicket, the partnership producing just 38 runs off 63 deliveries.

Corey Anderson, too, disappointed. His 21 off 32 deliveries was the reason why only 46 runs came off 59 deliveries for the fourth wicket. Before Anderson’s dismissal, Williamson reached his century to become the first from New Zealand to reach the three-figure mark on this tour. But he soon became part of the procession.