Kohli hundred fuels India's victory

Delhi batsman smashes fourth one-day ton as hosts register comfortable 40-run win

Kohli hundred fuels India's victory

Inserted by stand-in skipper Ross Taylor, who took charge after Daniel Vettori opted out owing to a niggle in the back, India -- through a combination Virat Kohli’s (105, 104b, 10x4) industry and the flamboyance of Yuvraj Singh (42), skipper Gautam Gambhir (38) and Murali Vijay (29) – mustered an impressive 276 all out in 49 overs and then packed off the visitors for 236 in 45.2 overs to begin the series on a winning note. This was the last one-day at this venue and the Indians ensured it had the perfect farewell.

India’s eventual total was much less than what they promised at one stage. Even so, the home bowlers carried far too many guns for their opponents to make the target appear a daunting one.

Yuvraj, who did a decent job with the bat, capped a fine day at office finishing with figures of three for 43.

Off-spinner R Ashwin, pressed into service as early as the eighth over, too bagged three wickets (3/50) for his best ODI returns yet to complete India’s domination.             

Sparkling knock

Without their injured star batsman Brendon McCullum, much of New Zealand’s hopes of rested on the shoulders Taylor and the feisty right-hander did light up their innings with a sparkling 66 (69b, 3x4, 3x4) but that did nothing more than provide their chase a semblance of respectability. Kyle Mills and Nathan McCullum used the long handle to good effect adding a quick 67 runs off 62 deliveries to add some late excitement to an otherwise lost cause.

Kohli once again underlined his status as the most promising of the young crop of batsmen with another neatly carved ton, his second in as many matches following the one against Australia in October in Visakhapatnam.

Great maturity

It was an innings laced with great maturity and responsibility. He wasn’t flashy like some of his team-mates were, yet he managed not only to outscore but outpace them as well. He picked gaps regularly and ran hard as his busy ways kept the score board ticking, especially when Yuvraj, and understandably so, was taking his own time before deciding to unleash a flurry of fours.

Kohli’s first fifty contained just three fours but he consumed no more than 53 balls. The right-hander swung his bat around a bit in the second half of his innings to bring up his century, his second fifty coming in just 47 balls with seven hits to the fence. There was, however, no exaggerated celebration upon reaching his first three-figure score while setting the target – all his previous three tons had come while chasing, a remarkable feat in itself in this fledgling career.

Quite obviously, the pressure of scoring runs wasn’t as big as it was against Australia. But that in no way makes this innings any less significant.

If Kohli’s knock were to be taken out of the equation, there isn’t much to boast about India’s total. The 21-year-old was the only batsman of the four to make it big after getting a good start. In the process, he was involved in three crucial partnerships – 48 off 49 balls with Gambhir, 88 off 114 with Yuvraj and 40 off 38 with southpaw Suresh Raina.

Considering the prevalent muggy weather, Taylor backed his four-pronged pace attack to exploit the conditions. But to his dismay, there was nothing much to extract for his new-ball bowlers whom Gambhir and Vijay dealt with cautiously before breaking free. The opening duo failed build on its start as did Yuvraj. But Kohli held the innings together before it began to fall apart again following the Delhiite’s dismissal.

The hosts lost their last six wickets for a mere 26 runs as Andy McKay (4/62) triggered a mini collapse and but for Yusuf Pathan’s 19-ball 29, the total would have looked even more meagre.

ScoreBoard

INDIA
Vijay c Hopkins b Tuffey    29
(32b, 5x4)
Gambhir c How b McKay    38
(38b, 6x4)
Kohli c How b McKay    105
(104b, 10x4)
Yuvraj c Hopkins b Tuffey    42
(64b, 7x4)
Raina c How b Mills    13
(18b, 1x4)
Yusuf c Taylor b Mills    29
(19b, 3x4, 1x6)
Saha c Hopkins b McKay     4
(5b)
Ashwin c&b McKay    0
(2b)
Nehra (run out)    0
(6b)
Sreesanth c How b Mills    4
(6b, 1x4)
Munaf (not out)    1
(1b)
Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-8, NB-1)    11
Total (all out, 49 overs)    275
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Vijay), 2-92 (Gambhir), 3-180 (Yuvraj), 4-220 (Raina), 5-250 (Kohli), 6-256 (Saha), 7-256 (Ashwin), 8-257 (Nehra), 9-275 (Yusuf).   
Bowling: Mills 10-0-42-3, Tuffey 8-0-56-2 (nb-1, w-2), McKay 10-1-62-4 (w-5), Elliott 5-0-24-0, N McCullum 9-0-53-0 (w-1), Styris 6-0-26-0, Williamson 1-0-11-0.
Scoring pattern: After 5 overs: 27/0; 10: 58/1; 20: 107/2; 30: 164/2; 40: 218/3; End of innings: 276 all out (49 overs).  
Runs during: Powerplay1: 1-10 overs: 58/1; Powerplay2: 11-15 overs: 32/0; Powerplay3 (batting): 41-45 overs: 38/3. 
NEW ZEALAND
Guptill c Munaf b Ashwin    30
(37b, 6x4)
How c Vijay b Nehra    9
(15b, 1x4)
Williamson c Saha b Yuvraj    25
(51b)
Taylor c Munaf b Ashwin    66
(69b, 3x4, 3x6)
Styris c Yusuf b Yuvraj    10
(12b, 1x4)
Elliott c Yusuf b Sreesanth    5
(6b, 1x4)
Tuffey c Raina b Yuvraj    4
(5b)
Hopkins c Pathan b Ashwin    16
(14b, 2x4)
N M’llum c Gambhir b S’santh    35
(35b, 4x4)
Mills c Saha b Sreesanth    32
(28b, 2x4, 2x6)
McKay (not out)    0
(0b)
Extras (B-1, W-3)    4
Total (all out, 45.2 overs)    236
Fall of wickets: 1-32 (How), 2-46 (Guptill), 3-113 (Williamson), 4-131 (Styris), 5-136 (Elliott), 6-144 (Tuffey), 7-157 (Taylor), 8-169 (Hopkins), 9-236 (McCullum).
Bowling: Nehra 9-0-44-1 (w-1), Sreesanth 5.2-0-30-3 (w-1), Ashwin 10-1-50-3 (w-1), Munaf 8-0-39-0, Yuvraj 10-0-43-3, Yusuf 2-0-24-0, Raina 1-0-5-0.
Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 17/0; 10: 46/2; 20: 73/2; 30: 136/4; 40: 195/8; End of innings: 236 all out (45.2 overs).
Runs during: Powerplay1: 1-10 overs: 46/2; Power Play 2: 11-15 overs: 11/0; Power Play3 (batting): 33-38 overs: 31/2.

Comments (+)