Shami, Dhawan star as India dismantle New Zealand

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A three-wicket haul from Mohammed Shami, who got good support from the spinners, and a half-century from Shikhar Dhawan saw India beat New Zealand by eight wickets at McLean Park in Napier. The visitors lead the five-match one-day international series 1-0.

Ambati Rayudu (13*) and Dhawan (75*) took the visitors to the DLS-adjusted 156-run target with more than 15 overs to spare.

DLS came into play because of an unusual situation: the setting sun stopped play. The surface in Napier is laid in the east-west direction, so the low sun made it difficult for not only the batsmen, but also the bowlers and umpires facing that end. This halted play for over 30 minutes; the visitors came out with the innings reduced to 49 overs, and the target revised from 158 to 156.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had got India off to a solid start in the chase. They added 41 runs for the first wicket before Sharma fell to a short-pitched delivery from Doug Bracewell, which climbed on him until he edged it to Martin Guptill in the slips.

Kohli (45) and Dhawan chipped away, until the Indian skipper was dismissed off a bouncer from Lockie Ferguson. Kohli tried to pull, but it caught an edge before flying to Tom Latham behind the wicket.

 

New Zealand will look to use the bouncer more in the second ODI, considering it troubled the visitors the most. Both Kohli and Sharma fell to it and Dhawan, too, top-edged one from Bracewell towards square leg – Latham called for it, ran hard and got his gloves to it, but it popped out of his hand.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand chose to bat first but could only get to 157. Shami, drafted into the XI for the rested Jasprit Bumrah, seized his opportunity. In a fiery opening spell, the seamer removed both New Zealand openers, Guptill and Colin Munro, for single-digit scores. Guptill’s wicket – an in-swinger chopped onto the stumps – made Shami the fastest Indian to reach 100 ODI scalps.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, New Zealand’s most reliable batsmen, mitigated the situation with a 34-run stand for the third wicket. However, their alliance was broken after an array of slower balls from Yuzvendra Chahal, who is high on confidence after his six-wicket haul in the final ODI against Australia.

 

India included both their wrist spinners, Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, in the playing XI for the first time since the Asia Cup final. It paid off, as the duo crippled the opposition with six wickets between them. Yadav, in particular, was on the money, returning figures of 4/39 with his left-arm wrist-spin.

New Zealand capitulated after Taylor’s dismissal, as no batsman stayed on the crease long enough to build a substantial partnership with Williamson. Latham, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner got to double figures, but were dismissed before they could kick on for a big knock. Williamson toiled hard before falling for a patient 64 while trying to hit a six off the first delivery after drinks.

Yadav claimed the last two scalps with a little help from MS Dhoni: the wicket-keeper first completed a stumping of Ferguson and suggested that Yadav bowl round the wicket to Trent Boult. The ploy worked, as the batsman edged a wrong’un to Sharma at slips.