Jaipur: India won the second ODI against New Zealand with panache, beating the visitors by 8 wickets to stamp a 2-0 authority over the five match series.
The day belonged to skipper Gautam Gambhir and S Sreesanth who ensured that the Indian squad emerged victorious despite some good Kiwi attempts.
Virat Kohli was on song yet again as his 9th ODI fifty came iced with Gautam Gambhir’s 8th ton, cementing India as one of the major squads to lay their claim to the World Cup 2011.
Kohli was caught out by Taylor at a score of 64 runs, making sure that the youngsters’ efforts did not go unnoticed by the top brass as the chief selector Kris Srikkath was present for the tie.
Murali Vijay was the first batsman to fall as his uneasy innings came to an end with a poor shot off Daniel Vettori at a score of 33 runs.
India started off with the opening duo of skipper Gambhir and Vijay taking the total past 50-run mark at a healthy economy rate of above 5 per over.
New Zealand could not be called a tame opposition as they posted a fighting 258/8 at the end of their stipulated overs with a mixed bag for both the teams. While Indian bowlers ruled the proceedings for a major part of the day, the Kiwi middle-order insured that they were not bundled out real cheap.
Sreesanth was the wrecker-in-charge for the Indians as he claimed four wickets in the innings. He struck just when it was starting to get a bit uneasy for the hosts and a steepling catch by Saha saw half-centurion Scott Styris’s back to the field.
Soon after his wicket, Sree clean bowled Daniel Vettori to set-up his hat-trick delivery to Kyle Mills. The trick could not materialize today but his strikes ensured two new feet on the turf with just a few overs to go.
The star of the Kiwi innings, Martin Guptill (70), was the fourth wicket to fall as Ravichandran Ashwin’s carrom ball just outside off confused the set bat. His fall brought out captain Daniel Vettori to the crease.
Ross Taylor was the third to fall even before the 100-run mark could be crossed as he was caught by Virat Kohli in the deep off Yusuf Pathan’s bowling.
Munaf Patel had gotten the second breakthrough, claiming Kane Williamson in the seventeenth over as the score tottered to 64/2 and India maintaining a tight economy rate.
Gambhir’s men had started proceedings in the second ODI against New Zealand with a disciplined effort in the field, choking the Kiwi top order for runs and the strategy paid rich dividends for the home team.
A wicket came early on for the home team as opener Jamie How was out caught by Wriddhiman Saha at a score of five runs in the fourth over with Sreesanth’s outside off delivery that got a flying edge.
India: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir (capt.), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra.
New Zealand: Jamie How, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, Daniel Vettori (capt.), Gareth Hopkins (wk), Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Andy McKay.