From bad to worse

After conceding the series, India suffer their heaviest defeat on Kiwi soil; lose 5th ODI by 87 runs to finish 0-4

Wellington: A listless Indian cricket team slumped to its worst ODI series defeat in New Zealand, going down 0-4, after the Black Caps hammered them by 87 runs in the inconsequential fifth and final ODI on Friday.Going into the match trailing 0-3 in the five-match series, the famed India batting came a cropper once again, bundled out for 216 in 49.4 overs by New Zealand, while chasing 304 at Westpac Stadium.

From bad to worse

Virat Kohli’s 82 was the only saving grace as the visitors failed to put up a fight against the Kiwi bowlers, led superbly by debutant Matt Henry (4 for 38).Earlier, Ross Taylor slammed his second successive hundred to power the hosts to an imposing 303 for five. Besides the tie in the third ODI in Auckland, India had suffered defeats in Napier and Hamilton (twice) and today’s defeat continued their disastrous overseas performance as they had lost the ODI series against South Africa before coming. India had lost 2-5 to New Zealand in a seven-match ODI series in 2002-03.

The last time the Indians failed to win even a single match in New Zealand was in 1975-76 and 1980-81, losing 0-2 in both the two-match series.Put into bat, Taylor (102) shared a 152-run partnership with Kane Williamson (88), who scored his fifth consecutive half-century, for the third wicket to rescue New Zealand from a precarious 41-2 at one stage.

Taylor’s 106-ball innings was studded with 10 hits to the fence and one six, while Williamson blasted eight fours and one six in his 91-ball innings here.For India, Varun Aaron (2-60) was the most successful bowler, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-48) and Mohammad Shami (1-61) provided decent support. Virat Kohli took the only other wicket to fall, while the spinners, R Ashwin (0-37) and Ravindra Jadeja (0-54) went wicket-less. Chasing 304 runs for their first win on the tour, the Men in Blue got off to a disastrously slow start as they needed six overs to get to a double-digit score, losing a wicket in the interim.

Rohit Sharma (4) was the first to go, giving slip-catching practice to Taylor in the 5th over bowled by Kyle Mills (2-35).Shikhar Dhawan (9), coming back into the eleven after spending the last match on sidelines, also looked uncomfortable as Henry finally get rid off him, taking this first international wicket. The young pacer wounded up the left-handed batsman in the 10th over of the innings, before inducing an edge which was safely pouched in the slips.

Four over later, with the score at 30/2, Ajinkya Rahane (2) missed a straight delivery from Henry, trying to play it off his legs and was out plumb LBW.India were staring at another massive defeat even as Kohli put up some resistance and finally he found some support in Ambati Rayudu. The latter took his time getting set, hitting two fours off the 40 balls he faced, but he couldn’t get past 20 runs.

Looking to hit Henry over square on the off-side, Rayudu stepped out and made room only to hit it straight to Williamson.This was a serious blow for India, as the two batsmen had added 48 runs 64 balls, at a decent run-rate of 4.5 per over. Yet again, India were left relying on Dhoni and Kohli and the duo tried hard, putting up 67 runs for the fifth wicket in 61 balls, stirring some hope for their hapless team.

In the 30th over of the innings, Kohli brought up his 30th ODI fifty, off 60 balls with five fours and one six. Immediately thereafter, with the run-rate now climbing past 10-per-over, he decided to play big shots and found some success. But he fell in the process, caught at long-on by substitute Peter Young-Husband off Nathan McCullum (1-33) in the 37th over. He scored 82 runs off 78 balls, with seven fours and three sixes.

Thereafter, it was another slow procession for the lower-order batsmen as R Ashwin (7) and Ravindra Jadeja (5) failed to provide support to Dhoni.After sometime, Dhoni too perished, caught at long-off trying to clear the ropes, off Williamson (2-19) in the 45th over. He scored 47 runs off 72 balls, with three fours, as the 4-0 score-line loomed large.

MSD fourth fastest to reach 8,000 ODI runs

Wellington: Indian captain MS Dhoni became the fourth fastest batsman to complete 8,000 runs in ODIs during the fifth and final match against New Zealand.The 32-year-old reached the milestone in the 26th over of his 243rd one-day match here.

It is a commendable achievement by the wicketkeeper-batsman who comes in lower down the order. The three men ahead of him in the list are illustrious compatriots Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and West Indian legend Lara, all of whom batted in the top three.Dhoni has taken 214 innings to touch the landmark.

New Zealand
M Guptill c Shami b Aaron…………16
J Ryder c Rahane b Kumar………….17
K Williamson c Rahane b Aaron….88
R Taylor c Dhawan b Shami………102
B McCullum c Sharma b Kohli…….23
J Neesham not out……………………34
L Ronchi not out……………………….11
Extras (b1, lb6, w5)…………………12
Total (For 5 wkts in 50 overs)…..303
FOW: 1-22, 2-41, 3-193, 4-243, 5-274.
Bowling: Shami 10-3-61-1, Kumar 8-0-48-1, Aaron 10-0-60-2, Ashwin 6-0-37-0, Jadeja 9-0-54-0, Kohli 7-0-36-1.

India
R Sharma c Taylor b Mills…………….4
S Dhawan c Nathan b Henry………..9
V Kohli c Sub b Nathan………………82
A Rahane lbw Henry…………………..2
A Rayudu c Williamson b Henry….20
MS Dhoni c James b Williamson….47
R Ashwin b Williamson……………….7
R Jadeja c Guptill b Mills……………..5
B Kumar c Ronchi b Henry………….20
Mohd Shami not out…………………14
V Aaron b Neesham……………………0
Extras (lb1, w4, nb1)…………………6
Total (All out; 49.4 overs)………..216
FOW: 1-8, 2-20, 3-30, 4-78, 5-145, 6-167, 7-174, 8-181, 9-215.
Bowling: Mills 10-1-35-2, McClenaghan 10-0-45-0, Henry 10-1-38-4, Neesham 5.4-0-45-1, McCullum 10-1-33-1, Williamson 4-0-19-2.

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