India comfortably beat New Zealand in their first warm up game ahead of the Champions Trophy by 45 runs as per the D/L method. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami’s three wickets apiece supported by Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan’s 92-run partnership ensured an easy win for the defending champions.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 189/10 (Luke Ronchi 66, Jimmy Neesham 46*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/28, Mohammad Shami 3/47) lost to India 129/3 (Virat Kohli 52*, Shikhar Dhawan 40; Trent Boult 1/34, James Neesham 1/11) by 45 runs (D/L method)
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first. While they went in with twelve players with Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ross Taylor missing out. India, on the other hand, decided to go with thirteen due to the absence of Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma.
Shami’s triple strikes put India on top:
Mohammad Shami vindicated his recall with a whirlwind spell as he scalped three wickets in quick succession, giving no time for a partnership to settle. With Martin Guptill (9), Kane Williamson (8), and Neil Broom (0) all falling
Bhuvneshwar’s three dismiss NZ cheaply:
New Zealand’s trouble with providing resistance continued as they suffered their next blow when Mitchell Santner held out to Jadeja off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin in the 26th over. The Black Caps’ run rate at this point of time was as low as 4.92 on a pitch that was expected to provide a run-fest. The misery of the tailenders only got worse between the 27th over and the 36th over, as they managed to score only one boundary. Umesh Yadav’s short ball in only his 4th over made Adam Milne the 5th batsman in the line-up to be dismissed on a single digit. However, Jimmy Neesham provided some hope to the otherwise dull batting display in order to post a respectable target. But keeping in trend with the Kiwis’ innings, Neesham could not get any support from the other end as Tim Southee was next one to be dismissed when he chopped a Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery onto his stumps. That brought the last man Trent Boult to the crease with still 15 overs of the to go. And as expected, New Zealand were not able to bat their full quota of overs as their innings came to an end with Bhuvneshwar finishing with 3 wickets as Shami pouched a safe catch to dismiss Boult. New Zealand were all out at 189 with nearly 11 overs to spare.
Dhawan and Kohli help India cruise:
Contrary to the first innings, the Indian openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane appeared to do justice to the pitch’s reputation of being batting-friendly. But that only remained the case until Rahane gifted his wicket in an attempt to play a hook shot off a Tim Southee bouncer. Dhawan was dropped by Broom early on, and that may have cost New Zealand the game, if not their below par batting performance.
Despite losing an early wicket, the fact that India were chasing a paltry target allowed Virat Kohli the chance to play himself in. And the Indian skipper made the most of the opportunity in an attempt to re-find his lost form. After a tentative start to his innings, Kohli began to show signs of his vintage self as he began timing the ball sweetly. Dhawan, though troubled by the bowlers on various occasions, was successful in laying a foundation. The duo brought up their 50-run partnership in the 16th over and put India in complete control of the game. The second breakthrough for New Zealand came only in the 19th over of the Indian innings when Dhawan fell to Neesham after scoring 40 runs. Though the miserable state of affairs for the Kiwis in the field continued as Kohli was dropped on 46 by Santner, they managed to dismiss Dinesh Karthik for a duck. Kohli brought up a well-made half century in the 24th over, which meant that India managed 127/3 at the halfway stage of their innings.
Dhoni marked his presence at the crease with a classic boundary in just the second over he faced. As the two were looking to finish the game off quickly, the rain got heavier and played spoilsport in the game where India had already scored 129/3 in 26 overs. Eventually, because the further play was not possible, the winners of the game were decided with the help of the DL method. The DL par score after 26 overs is 84 and India being 45 runs ahead, won their first warm-up encounter against New Zealand.
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