Kohli guides India to a six-wicket victory

The Indian bowlers, led by Hardik Pandya, bowled New Zealand out for 190 before Virat Kohli, with an unbeaten 85 took India home with six wickets and over 16 overs remaining.

Virat Kohli struck an unbeaten half-century to guide India to victory.   -  ap

Virat Kohli engineered yet another Indian victory with a fluent, unbeaten 85 as New Zealand went down by six wickets in the first One Day International here on Sunday.

Chasing 191 in its 900th ODI, India was home in 33.1 overs, the winning runs deservedly coming from Kohli in style: a huge straight six off Ish Sodhi.

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Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane set up a perfect platform for the host with a 49-run opening partnership. But both fell in quick succession. Rahane was caught behind trying to poke at a delivery wide outside off-stump. Manish Pandey did not survive long either. Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni put on a 60-run stand before the latter was run out -- that was the only time there was any indecision from the Indian batsmen.

Kohli's cover drives were exquisite, perfectly timed and most went through the gaps.

Put in to bat, New Zealand folded up for 190 in 43.5 overs; 71 of it came through a ninth wicket stand between Tom Latham and Tim Southee. The former became the first from New Zealand to carry his bat in ODIs. Hardik Pandya capped his debut by picking three wickets that fetched him the man of the match award.

New Zealand's top-order collapse was due to their inability to dig in and move their feet and the Indian bowlers' ability to force wrong shots. On a pitch that required patience, New Zealand batsmen perished due to their hurry. Martin Guptill, after striking three boundaries, was the first to go, edging a length ball from Pandya in his first over to Rohit Sharma at second slip.

While Latham stood up and delivered with patience and panache, his teammates appeared more keen on following Guptill's aggression but fell without getting the runs. Captain Kane Williamson struggled to middle the ball and was out for three. Ross Taylor edged his first ball to Dhoni standing up close to Umesh Yadav. Kedar Jadhav, who had a single List A wicket in his career till now, took two wickets in as many balls in the 19th over.

Doug Bracewell resisted till he became Amit Mishra's 50th ODI wicket, caught by a diving Ajinkya Rahane at midwicket.

Southee, coming at 10, was dropped on two by Yadav at fine leg. He made sure India regretted the missed chance. His 50 off 40 balls, had three huge sixes and six powerful fours. He made batting look easy against both spin and pace even as Latham anchored at the other end. Southee finally fell, failing to read the length from Mishra and gave a catch to Manish Pandey at midwicket.

But the 24-year old Latham held on, becoming only the 10th player to carry the bat in an ODI. The effort wasn't enough to get his a win on this tour.