India vs New Zealand | Tom Latham and Ross Taylor’s record partnership sets up win for visitors

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India vs New Zealand | Tom Latham and Ross Taylor’s record partnership sets up win for visitors

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SportsCafe Desk


Tom Latham (103*) and Ross Taylor (95) recorded the highest-ever partnership at the Wankhede as they led their team to a six-wicket victory over India in the first ODI. Earlier, Virat Kohli had marked his 200th ODI game with a century to go past Ricky Ponting’s tally of 30 ODI hundreds.

Brief scores: India 280/8 (Virat Kohli 121, Dinesh Karthik 37; Trent Boult 4-35, Tim Southee 3-73) LOST to New Zealand 284/4 (Tom Latham 103*, Ross Taylor 95; Hardik Pandya 1/46, Jasprit Bumrah 1/56) by six wickets.

Almost two years after suffering their biggest ever defeat at home, Virat Kohli won the toss at the Wankhede and opted to bat first. India made two changes to the team that played the last ODI against Australia, bringing in Dinesh Karthik and Shikhar Dhawan to replace Manish Pandey and Ajinkya Rahane respectively. The Kiwis played a very expected side for the first game of the three-match series. 

Boult strikes early as Indian openers fail 

Trent Boult and Tim Southee started the series off with an impressive display of fast attacking bowling. It was the former who got the visitors the first breakthrough in the shape of Shikhar Dhawan who, while fishing outside the off stump, nicked one to Tom Latham behind the stumps. Southee, on the other hand, decided to let go of good length bowling and attacked Sharma with short balls, but the Indian was able to put the ball over the ropes on consecutive deliveries. However, Sharma’s attacking instincts were targeted by Boult, who, with a perfect in-swinger, knocked the Indian’s stumps over that left the hosts in a spot of bother with just 30 runs on the board after six overs. Boult kept bowling a threatening line to the Indians and at the end of his first spell had complete figures of 2/7 as India managed to score 37/2 by the end of the first powerplay. While Kohli looked to up the ante Jadhav was struggling for runs and scoring at a strike rate of 50 when he played the ball back to Santner to end his stay at the crease in the 16th over to leave India reeling at 71/3. The Indian skipper, who brought up his 46th ODI fifty in his 200th ODI, along with Dinesh Karthik, who scored 27 runs then, guided India to a respectable score of 127/3 at the midway point of the innings.

Kohli scores historic century to keep India in the game

With Munro and Milne failing to put any sort of pressure on the Indian batsmen, Williamson took the decision of bringing Southee back into the attack and the Kiwi skipper was instantly rewarded, as the pacer tricked Karthik into playing a pull shot which ended with the Indian finding Munro on the long leg. Dhoni came in to join Kohli at the crease and took his time settling down which results in the run rate dropping below 5 rpo. The duo navigated the team through the middle overs and got the score to 197/4 at the end of the 40th over. But just as India would have hoped to accelerate, Dhoni was sent packing by the exceptional Boult. The incoming Pandya made a slow start to the innings but by then Kohli was ready to take the attack to the visitors. He started off by hitting Southee for two consecutive boundaries in the 43rd over before bringing up his 31st ODI century a couple of overs later. Pandya, too, got a 16 run a ball score against his name but was dismissed before he could do any real damage. The incoming Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with Kohli though picked up the pace and scored 24 runs in three overs by the end of the 49th over. Kohli was then dismissed in the last over of the innings but not before smashing Southee for a huge six down the ground. Bhuvneshwar, then, added another 10 runs to take India’s score to a respectable 280/8 at the end of 50 overs.

India fight back after quick Kiwi start

With Kohli suffering from cramps during his knock in the first innings, Rohit Sharma was handed the reigns of the team for the opening overs of the Kiwi innings. Martin Guptill began the game with positive intent by hitting Bhuvneshwar for two back-to-back boundaries in the first over. Munro looked dicy on the wicket as after a few close shaves against Bumrah but targeted his partner with a six over square leg. He tried the shot again a few overs later and appeared to have found Jadhav at square leg, but the Indian all-rounder handed the Kiwi opener a lifeline by misjudging the catch. However, Munro didn’t last long and was eventually dismissed for 28 in the last over of the first power play when he top-edged a Bumrah delivery to Karthik at the cover point with the scoreboard reading 52/1. India knew that wickets would be key in the game and over the next eight overs, even though they leaked 31 runs, they got the dangerous duo of Guptill and Williamson. Tom Latham and Ross Taylor picked up the pieces and ensured that the visitors didn’t suffer a collapse like they did the last time they toured India and played patiently guiding the team to 117/3 at the end of the 25th over. 

Latham, Taylor ensure India’s Wankhede travails continue

With India’s new spin duo, Kuldeep and Chahal, proving to be ineffective, Kohli was forced to bring back a pacer so as to keep the pressure on the Kiwi batsmen. But by then, both players had played almost 30 balls each and looked assured at the crease. The duo were finding the singles with ease while putting away the bad balls as well. By the end of 35th over, the crowd sensed that the game could become a close one with Taylor scoring his half century and Latham coming within a run of him as the equation read that the visitors needed 104 runs to win from 15 overs with seven wickets in hand. Kohli was forced to bring Bhuvneshwar back into the attack and but even India’s premier death-over specialist failed to stop the run flow. By the 40th over, not only had the duo brought the equation to a comfortable 69 off 60 balls, they had also broken the record for the highest 4th wicket partnership at the Wankhede. Having used his pacers early on, Kohli was forced to hand four overs to his pacers in the final 10 overs and that proved to be the moment that the Kiwi pair were waiting for as they scored 33 runs to bring the equation to a comfortable run a ball 30. With Bumrah going for 17 in the next it was game set and match for the Kiwis and the icing on the cake was the duo’s record breaking 200-run partnership at the Wankhede. The only disappointment on a night when the Kiwis chased down the highest score at the historic Mumbai ground would have been Taylor’s inability to follow his partner’s footsteps and score a century as well. India will now look forward to the next game in Pune three days later to stay in the series.

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