India thrash New Zealand, through to tri-series final
Dambulla: Virender Sehwag smashed his 13th ODI ton as India stormed into the tri-series final with a convincing 105-run victory over New Zealand on Wednesday.
While it was Sehwag who did the job with the bat and helped India post a competitive 223 on the board, the pace quartet of Praveen Kumar (3 wkts), Ashish Nehra (2), Munaf Patel (3) and Ishant Sharma (1), displayed some fine swing bowling to wrap up the Kiwi innings for 118 in just 30.1 overs.
Although Kyle Mills offered some late resistance with the bat, notching up a fine 53, none of the other New Zealand batsman posed any threat for the Indians.
India will now lock horns against Sri Lanka in the final of the tri-series on Saturday.
Chasing 224, New Zealand suffered an early blow as Martin Guptill was trapped in front of the wickets by Praveen for a duck.
Nehra uprooted the stumps of BJ Watling to reduce New Zealand to 6/2 in the fourth over of the innings. Watling departed for just 2.
Ross Taylor was the third batsman to depart after he was brilliantly caught behind the stumps by MS Dhoni for 8.
Praveen took his third wicket of the innings to reduce New Zealand to 22/4. Scott Styris became the fourth casualty after he dragged a delivery onto his stumps and was out for 1.
Ishant continued the good work as he cleaned up Kane Williamson with a beautiful offcutter. Williamson departed for 13 with the Kiwis placed at 41/5.
Moments after Ishant’s strike, Munaf too struck a blow as he removed Gareth Hopkins. Hopkins was trapped in front of the wickets for a duck.
Munaf captured his third wicket of the innings as he removed Nathan McCullum for 5 to reduce New Zealand to 53/8. McCullum was caught by Karthik at mid-off.
Ravindra Jadeja removed Tim Southee to take India within sniffing distance of a victory. Southee holed out to Praveen Kumar at long-on for 10.
Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first but the team were off to another poor start as Dinesh Karthik departed in the first over of the innings for a duck. Karthik was caught behind the wickets by wicket-keeper Hopkins off Mills.
A little while later, India lost their second wicket in the form of Virat Kohli with just 27 runs on the board. Kohli, who scored 8, nicked a delivery from Tim Southee and was pouched by keeper Gareth Hopkins.
Moments after they crossed the 50-run mark, India suffered a huge blow as Yuvraj Singh was sent back by Andy McKay for 6. Yuvraj was caught by Gareth Hopkins as he tried to pull a shortish delivery outside off stump but skied it.
Suresh Raina, who came in at the fall of Yuvraj’s wicket, could not last long as he was caught by Kane Williamson at short midwicket off Tim Southee for 1.
Despite wickets falling around him, Sehwag was looking in ominous touch as he along with Dhoni took India past the 100-run mark in the 20th over of the innings.
Sehwag continued to blast the bowling and completed his 13th ODI hundred in 87 balls.
However, immediately after scoring his century, Sehwag skied a delivery from Nathan McCullum and was caught by BJ Watling for 110.
Dhoni too departed just a few overs after Sehwag’s wicket with India just 1 short of the 200-run mark.
Jadeja became the seventh Indian batsman to take the long walk back to the pavilion after he was caught by Ross Taylor off Tim Southee for 17.
Ashish Nehra became the eighth batsman to depart after he was caught and bowled by Nathan McCullum for a duck.
Praveen Kumar became the ninth casualty as he skied a delivery from Tim Southee to be caught by Kyle Mills at mid-on for 6.
Munaf Patel was the last man to depart after he attempted to hit Kyle Mills out of the park but holed out to Andy McKay for 7, signaling the end on India’s innings in just 46.3 overs.