Chennai: After dismissing New Zealand for their lowest total against India in the fifth and final ODI, Yuvraj Singh and Parthiv Patel fascinated Chepauk crowd with their strokes and helped India to script 5-0 series victory as India decimated Kiwis by 8 wickets.
New Zealand bowlers came back strong on India in the start as Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori dismissed Gambhir (0) and Virat Kohli (2) in the first four overs of the Indian innings but a sensible approach by Yuvraj and Parthiv foiled all Kiwi plans to make the match interesting.
Parthiv (56) completed his second consecutive half-century to stamp his authority for the place of reserve wicket-keeper in the World Cup squad and stitched a match-winning 97 run partnership for the third wicket with Yuvraj (42).
This 5-0 clean sweep by India is the second time they have won a series 5-0 after beating England by the same margin in 2008.
Earlier, India scripted a likely 5-0 whitewash as bowlers decimated New Zealand’s complete batting line-up to bundle them out for meager 103 runs in 27 overs after the visitors won the toss and opted to bat first.
Indian bowlers started off on an astounding note as Praveen Kumar dismissed New Zealand opener Martin Guptill on duck in the first over to send early message to New Zealand camp.
After Guptill’s early dismissal, Brendon McCullum tried to help the rattled Kiwi camp recuperate from the loss as he smashed three boundaries to add some weight to the team’s score but Ashish Nehra was quick enough to detect the threat in McCullum (14) and trapped him plumb in front of the wickets to complete his 150 ODI dismissals.
Nehra celebrated the cause with another wicket and dismissed New Zealand’s main batsman Ross Taylor to add to New Zealand’s already existing woes.
With the top three batsmen back to the pavilion at a dreary figure of 28/3, Jamie How and Scott Styris got together to form a partnership and revive New Zealand’s fortune.
Both players added 43 runs for the fourth wicket but with the introduction of spin from both ends, New Zealand players fell like a pack of cards.
Yuvraj Singh ended the partnership by cleaning up Jamie How in his first over whereas Ashwin trapped Styris in front of the wickets in the next over to leave Kiwis tottering at 73 for the loss of five wickets.
Yuvraj then made a short work of Grant Elliott (0), who did not trouble the scorers and was caught napping in front of wickets.
New Zealand had high hopes from their skipper Daniel Vettori to guide them from trouble but Vettori too was not able to stay for long and edged a climbing delivery from Yusuf Pathan to slips where Yuvraj Singh completed an easy catch.
Pathan then nailed Nathan McCullum in his next over in the same fashion who was unlucky to be given out by umpire Amish Saheba as the replays suggested that the ball had kissed batsman’s arm and not gloves.
Ashwin then made an easy work of the remaining batsmen as New Zealand got all-out for their lowest total against India to sum up their disastrous ODI campaign and hurting their chances of winning a single match since August 2010.