Guwahati: The spin duo of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh combined to dismiss six New Zealand batsmen after the batting heroics from Virat Kohli helped the young Indian team record a comfortable 40-run victory over the struggling Kiwi outfit.
After getting a 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Bangladesh before this series, New Zealand never threatened India during the whole match, except for sometimes in the fag end of the match when Mills (32) and Nathan McCullum (35) were batting for the 9th wicket and added 67 valuable runs for them.
But New Zealand innings finally ended for 236 in 45.2 overs when Mills skied a ball from Sreesanth which was caught by the wicketkeeper Saha after the bower got rid of McCullum in the previous ball.
New Zealand top order, apart from Guptill (30) and Ross Taylor (66), never got going and succumbed to the might of Indian spinners.
Ashwin (3/50) removed dangerous-looking Ross Taylor as the batsman was induced into a false shot. Stand-in-skipper Taylor made a quick-fire 66 off just 69 balls, hitting 3 fours and 3 sixes to raise some hopes in the tourists` camp. When the Kiwis lost their captain, they were 157/7 with no recognize batsman remaining.
Yuvraj Singh’s (3/43) part-time left-arm spin gave India two crucial wickets which put New Zealand on the backfoot. Yuvi first removed Kane Williamson for 25 and then got rid of experienced Scott Styris dor just 10.
Immediately after that S Sreesanth also joined the wicket-taking party by removing Grant Elliot for 5.
Ashish Nehra inflicted the first blow to the New Zealand camp as he removed comeback man Jamie How for 9 after New Zealand got off to a good start scoring 32 in 6 overs.
Off-spinner R Ashwin gave India their 2nd wicket as he got rid of Martin Guptill for 30 when the batsman was looking to be in good touch. Guptill hit six boundaries during his 37-ball stay at the crease.
Earlier, New Zealand pacemen Andy McKay and Kyle Mills came up with some good performance with the ball in the late overs to bowl India out for 276 after young Indian batsman Virat Kohli slammed a brilliant century to put India on top.
India were all set to post around 300 when Kohli was batting but after taking Kohli’s wicket McKay got rid of off-spinner R Ashwin for a duck. McKay finally claimed 4 wickets for 61 runs which ultimately prevented India to bat the Kiwis out of the match.
Kyle Mills (3/42) also chipped in with 2 wickets during death overs including the wicket of dangerous Yusuf Pathan (29) who never got going despite trying to hit every ball out of the park
Debutant wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha also failed as he was undone by McKay’s outswinger for 4. Indian were finally bowled out with six balls still to be bowled.
Virat Kohli’s love affair with the ODI format carried on as he slammed yet another scintillating century during his short but impressive ODI-career so far. Kohli, who holds the Indian record of reaching the fastest thousand runs in ODIs, scored his 4th ODI ton.
Staring off sensibly, the Delhi lad started to open up gradually and hit silken boundaries to the every nook and corner of the picturesque Guwahati Ground to reach his run-a-ball century.
But McKay again came up with a beautiful slower delivery to fox Kokhli getting him out on 105.
Raina’s poor form continued as he failed to put up a decent score in the first ODI against the Kiwis after a forgettable three-Test series. Raina, trying to up the run-rate, was holed out at the long on boundary for 13 off Kyle Mills.
Yuvraj Singh also missed out on a real opportunity to play a big innings when a sudden lapse of concentration cost his wicket after making a fluent 42 off 64 balls. Yuvi hit some lucid boundaries during his knock.
He, along with Kohli, put up a solid 88-run partnership that gave India an ideal launching pad to score freely in the remaining overs and post a huge score.
Despite losing two wickets before the scorecard could reach hundred, in-form Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh forged an unbeaten 50-run stand to give India a solid platform.
Kohli was more aggressive of the two, reaching his 9th fifty in style off just 62 balls with 4 boundaries.
Andy McKay struck for New Zealand as Indian lose their 2nd wicket in the form of skipper Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir scored run-a-ball 38 with 6 fours.
Opener Murali Vijay, who was playing so well for his 32-ball 29, threw away his wicket in pursuit of quick runs.
After inviting India to bat first, New Zealand first struck when Daryl Tuffey removed Vijay after the India got off to a brisk start, scoring 44 in just 7 overs. Vijay slammed 5 fours during his entertaining knock.