Latham, Taylor lead NZ to dominant six-wicket win

India innings (toss: India, who chose to bat first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
R Sharma bowled Boult 20 (18) 0 2 111.11
S Dhawan caught Latham, bowled Boult 9 (12) 1 0 75.00
V Kohli caught Boult, bowled Southee 121 (125) 9 2 96.80
K Jadhav caught and bowled Santner 12 (25) 1 0 48.00
D Karthik caught Munro, bowled Southee 37 (47) 4 0 78.72
MS Dhoni caught Guptill, bowled Boult 25 (42) 2 0 59.52
H Pandya caught Williamson, bowled Boult 16 (16) 1 1 100.00
B Kumar caught Nicholls, bowled Southee 26 (15) 2 2 173.33
K Yadav not out 0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal
Extras: 14 (10 wides and 4 leg byes)
India’s total: 280/8 in 50 overs, at 5.60 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 16/1 (Dhawan, 3.2), 29/2 (Rohit, 5.4), 71/3 (Jadhav, 15.2), 144/4 (Karthik, 28.4), 201/5 (Dhoni, 40.6), 238/6 (Pandya, 45.3), 270/7 (Kohli, 49.2), and 280/8 (Bhuvneshwar, 49.6)
New Zealand bowling
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs given Wickets  Economy
T Southee 10 0 73 3 7.30
T Boult 10 1 35 4 3.50
A Milne 9 0 62 0 6.88
M Santner 10 0 41 1 4.10
C de Grandhomme 4 0 27 0 6.75
C Munro 7 0 38 0 5.43
New Zealand innings (target: 281 runs in 50 overs, at 5.62 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
M Guptill caught Karthik, bowled Pandya 32 (48) 5 0 66.66
C Munro caught Karthik, bowled Bumrah 28 (35) 3 1 80.00
K Williamson caught Jadhav, bowled Kuldeep 6 (8) 0 0 75.00
R Taylor caught Chahal, bowled Bhuvneshwar 95 (100 8 0 95.00
T Latham not out 103 (102) 8 2 100.98
H Nicholls not out 4 (1) 1 0 400.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Adam Mile
Extras: 16 (5 wides and 11 leg byes)
NZ’s total: 284/4 in 49 overs, at 5.79 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 48/1 (Munro, 9.3), 62/2 (Williamson, 12.3), 80/3 (Guptill, 17.2), and 280/4 (Taylor, 48.5)
India bowling
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs given Wickets Economy
B Kumar 10 0 56 1 5.60
J Bumrah 9 0 56 1 6.22
K Yadav 10 0 64 1 6.40
H Pandya 10 0 46 1 4.60
Y Chahal 10 0 51 0 5.10

Match report: India vs New Zealand 1st ODI

Tom Latham and Ross Taylor put on a record 200-run partnership for the fourth wicket and took New Zealand to a commanding six-wicket win in the 1st ODI in Mumbai. Latham and Taylor’s partnership is now the highest for any wicket at the Wankhede Stadium. Latham finished unbeaten on 103 off 102 balls (8×4 and 2×6) and Taylor made 95 off 100 balls (8×4), and together, they helped their team chase down 281 rather easily. Latham, for his fourth ODI century, was awarded the man-of-the-match.

New Zealand got off to a reasonably good start through Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. Munro, who has been given the license to go for broke at the start of the innings, was the one on the attack and very early on, he managed to unsettle Bhuvneshwar Kumar with a couple of swipes across the line and for boundaries square on the leg-side. This ploy forced Bhuvneshwar to alter his approach. And, bowling just his third over (with the new ball), this UP pacer started bowling a series of knuckle deliveries that helped him and India stem the run flow.

At the other end, Jasprit Bumrah hit the deck and found some lateral movement off the surface. Munro didn’t stop himself from going after Bumrah as well, and on one occasion, he mistimed a pick-up shot off his pads and should have been caught by Kedar Jadhav at deep square-leg. But he misjudged the flight of the ball, rushed in from the boundary and with the ball coming to him at an awkward height, let the ball slip through his hands. Had he not been dropped, Munro will have been out in the sixth over and when he was just on 11. This left-hander didn’t last long thereafter, though, as his objective to hit every ball for a four or six led to his undoing; an off-cutter from Bumrah deceived him and a leading edge was safely pouched by Karthik. Munro fell for 28 runs off 35 balls.

At the start of the second powerplay, Virat Kohli brought Kuldeep Yadav into the attack and this was always going to be an important phase in the 1st ODI, particularly with Kane Williamson in the middle and given his nous of playing spin. Guptill, at the other end, is not always comfortable against spin and he did show discomfort in playing the left-arm chinaman. The normally classical Williamson tried to muscle Kuldeep with his bottom hand a couple of times. On the second occasion he tried, he hit the ball uppishly to Jadhav, who was stationed at cover. This was a body blow for New Zealand and you feared the worst, despite Tom Latham being moved to the middle order to specifically counter the threat posed by the Indian spinners. Guptill didn’t last long after Williamson had been dismissed, with Hardik Pandya bouncing him out for 32 off 48 balls and reducing the Blackcaps to 3/80 in the 18th over.

From here on, however, the 1st ODI took a decisive turn. Latham and Taylor, who had scored centuries in New Zealand’s second practice match, didn’t put a foot wrong and rather casually drove their team to a famous victory. Latham justified the team management’s decision to slot him in the middle order by dominating the Indian spinners, who just didn’t have an answer to this left-hander’s wide array of strokes: the conventional sweep, the paddle sweep, reverse sweep, and the cut and the pulls square of the wicket on either side. All of these strokes were productive too on the day and as a result, he was not only able to put Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav under pressure but also help his team take control of the match quickly.

The Indian spinners had complemented the pacers particularly well during the Australia series, but here, neither were they able to stem the run flow nor deliver wickets. They didn’t help themselves by either being too full or too short and played into the hands of Latham, in particular, while such loose deliveries were taken advantage of by Taylor, too. But from New Zealand’s perspective, the proactive batting from the Latham-Taylor duo was the major reason for the Indian spinners struggling to hit their strides and build pressure.

We need to emphasise that New Zealand didn’t run away with the match until late on and their innings, at least for the most part, panned out in pretty much the same way the Indian innings had in the afternoon. After 20 overs, India had made 93/3, New Zealand were 94/3 and after 30 overs, India were 149/4, while New Zealand at the same stage were 148/3. And you can say that the 1st ODI pivoted on India’s failure to take wickets during the middle overs and Latham and Taylor batting exceptionally well to not allow the required run rate to jump above seven runs per over.

Taylor was the first in this partnership to bring up his half-century (his 38th in ODI cricket), getting to the landmark in 58 balls. But as he became tired and the humid Mumbai weather started taking a toll on his body, Latham, who was the fresher of the two batsmen, became the aggressor in the partnership. Taylor, though, weighed in with some crucial fours when they were needed and he, as Latham was to him, was a perfect foil in the partnership.

The 100 of this partnership was brought up off 108 balls and India were never allowed a way back into the match, even as tiredness became a major factor and Latham and Taylor started cramping. With Latham, in particular, scoring freely, the difference between runs and balls started to decrease rapidly and as New Zealand nudged close to the required 281, Latham too neared his fourth ODI century. He got to the landmark off just 95 balls. Taylor perished with just two runs required for a victory, but Henry Nicholls came on and hit a four to win New Zealand the 1st ODI in emphatic fashion.

Batting first after winning the toss, India posted 280/8 in 50 overs, on what was a slower Wankhede pitch. Virat Kohli, playing his 200th ODI match, made his 31st ODI hundred (a 125-ball 121, 9×4 and 2×6), which, disappointingly, didn’t get his team the desired result. India had lost their openers early and continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, he had to contend with the humid Mumbai weather and also counter the slowish pitch. Kohli was given a second life by Mitchell Santner, who spilt a reasonably easy catch, when on 29, but the Indian captain constructed this innings a touch differently to how he normally would.

He was extremely patient at the start, waiting for the Tim Southee-Trent Boult duo to complete their first spells, during which they generated quite a lot of movement in the air and off the surface. And even after the third, fourth and fifth bowlers were introduced, Kohli didn’t go after them in search for runs. He was prepared to play within himself, collect the singles on offer and only put away those deliveries that he really could. The pace of this pitch meant that Kohli did edge a few deliveries and was fortuitous to collect fours by way of thick outside and inside edges, but his approach was the standout feature of this innings.

Though this was a more subdued knock from Kohli, we did see the trademark Kohli whips, flicks and pulls that yielded him vital runs and eye-catching fours the on-side. Whether off slower bowlers or against the pace of Southee and Milne, Kohli brought his wrists into play and nonchalantly sent the ball sailing in the directions of fine-leg, square-leg and long-on on a fair few occasions. Those were truly the shots to behold, though the nudges and glides to third-man carried their value, too, on a sluggish pitch. Kohli brought up his half-century off 62 balls and was in the middle until the last over. His strike rate picked up when he neared his century: from 84* off 100 balls, Kohli powered his way to 98* off 109 balls and brought up his 31st ODI hundred on the 111th ball he faced. He went on to make 21 more runs in 14 balls before holing out to Boult at long-on.

While Kohli was the main man and saviour for India on a day when four of their batsmen failed, Boult caught the eye with a complete bowling display which showcased his ability to swing the new ball, keep the batsmen on a tight leash and finish off his spell the way he started it. With the conditions being humid, Boult and his bowling partner, Southee, did find swing. But Boult, because he hit the right lines and lengths, was able to exploit the movement better, while Southee bowled too full and was driven a lot, thereby not making the impact as Boult.

An out-swinger from Boult got him the scalp of Shikhar Dhawan, who edged through to Tom Latham behind the stumps, in the fourth over and an in-swinger to the right-handed Rohit Sharma, hit the top of off-stump, though Rohit contributed to his own downfall by looking to slog the left-arm pacer.

India had picked Dinesh Karthik in their playing XI but decided to have Kedar Jadhav bat at No. 4, at which position he had failed miserably in Sri Lanka. Here, he walked into a dicey situation with the ball darting around and India 29/2. Jadhav, who was forced to occupy the crease and sacrifice his natural game (which is to play freely and accumulate most of his runs in fours and sixes), failed again batting at No. 4, this time falling for 12 off 25 balls. What will have disappointed Jadhav more is the manner of his dismissal: to a reasonably fuller delivery from Mitchell Santner, an indecisive, attempted off-drive from Jadhav gave the New Zealand left-arm spinner an easy catch on his follow through.

Having replaced Manish Pandey in the playing XI and walking in to bat with nearly 35 overs in the innings left, this was Karthik’s chance to announce his arrival. Being a good player of spin, he enjoyed facing Santner and the medium-pace bowling from Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro was to his liking too. He accumulated his runs in singles and twos at the start of his innings and pounced on the short deliveries that were on offer from Santner and Munro. Because he was scoring quite freely, Karthik didn’t put himself under pressure and the way he had batted suggested that he was poised to make an impact with a substantial knock. But Southee, in his comeback over (the 29th of the Indian innings), bounced out this Tamil Nadu batsman for a 47-ball 37. Having promised more, Karthik fell in a disappointing fashion and his wicket affected India’s momentum.

MS Dhoni walked in with the score at 144/4 and struggled to make an impact. He did find the boundary on the odd occasion, but his innings lacked fluency. He too fell in soft fashion, his gentle, uppish cut being easily caught by Guptill at point, off Boult. Hardik Pandya didn’t have the desired impact either after walking in to bat with nine overs left. India, though, were helped by Kohli gaining momentum as he approached his century, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar played a 15-ball cameo (26 runs) to get India to 280. Bhuvneshwar surprised one and all with his ability to clear the boundary, once over long-on and once over deep mid-wicket, while his boundary-hitting ability, in general, came to the fore.

For New Zealand, Southee finished with 3/73, while Boult was without a shadow of a doubt the standout bowler, taking 4/35. Santner took the other wicket (1/41).

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