Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Kohli leads India chase in routine victory vs NZ

Published:Monday | October 17, 2016 | 10:00 AM

DHARAMSALA, India (AP):

India scored 194-4 in 33.1 overs to chase down New Zealand's paltry 190 and win the first one-day international by six wickets yesterday. Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 85, after debutant Hardik Pandya took 3-31, to help their side take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Chasing 191, Rohit Sharma (14) and Ajinkya Rahane (33) got off to a comfortable start and put on 49 runs for the opening wicket. Sharma was trapped lbw by Doug Bracewell (1-44) in the 10th over.

Rahane hit four fours and two sixes, as he took India past the 50-mark. But he wasted his start and was caught behind off James Neesham (1-40) in the 12th over.

It was a similar story with Manish Pandey (17), who put on 40 runs for the third wicket with Kohli. His innings also ended with a loose shot, caught at midwicket off Ish Sodhi (1-34).

Kohli brought up his 37th ODI half-century off 55 balls. He faced 81 balls overall and hit nine fours as well as a six.

He put on 60 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper MS Dhoni (21). The duo looked like finishing the game off for India, when a miscue between them led to a Dhoni run-out in the 29th over.

FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE

Kedar Jadhav (10 not out) then made sure there were no further hiccups and took his team to victory with 16.5 overs to spare.

"It was a fantastic performance by the fast bowlers. We had no clue that the wicket would've helped them so much early on. Despite the small total, it was also good that I got to bat in the middle," said Dhoni, who turned out for India for the first time since late August.

For Pandya, his first ODI was extra sweet as he was handed his ODI cap by legendary Indian all-rounder, Kapil Dev. The youngster was dropped from India's tour of Zimbabwe after poor performances in the 2016 World T20, but has now made his way back after impressing with India-A in Australia recently.

"It is good to be back and I was a bit nervous. But I have been bowling a lot of late and therefore was able to bowl today with a good rhythm. The ball was doing something in the early overs," said Pandya, after winning the Man-of-the-Match award on his debut.

MAYHEM

Earlier, the Black Caps lost a fourth consecutive toss of the tour and at one point were reduced to 65-7. Pandya caused mayhem in his opening spell, dismissing Martin Guptill (12), Corey Anderson (4) and Luk Ronchi (0).

At the other end, Umesh Yadav (2-31) removed Kane Williamson (3) and Ross Taylor (0) off successive deliveries.

Only Guptill and Taylor got out to good deliveries and the remaining New Zealand batsmen were guilty of playing loose shots. Kedar Jadhav (2-6) added to their misery when he dismissed James Neesham (10) and Mitchell Santner (0) off consecutive balls in the 19th over.

"We needed to weather the early storm a little bit. It was tough to bat at the start with the ball moving a lot. They bowled some good spells and there were some soft dismissals too. It was disappointing with the bat today," said New Zealand skipper Williamson.

Tom Latham (79 not out) and Tim Southee (55) then scored half centuries, and helped their side escape from an embarrassing position. While Latham became the first New Zealand opener - and 10th overall in ODI history - to carry his bat through an innings, Southee hit his maiden 50 with six fours and three sixes.

Amit Mishra (3-49) wiped out the tail to restrict the Black Caps in 43.5 overs.