Kiwis win despite Kohli gem

Kiwis win despite Kohli gem

Anderson, McClenaghan come up with fine efforts as NZ register 24-run win

Kiwis win despite Kohli gem

 Virat Kohli’s exhilarating hundred went in vain as New Zealand staged a dramatic turnaround to pull off a thrilling 24-run win in the first cricket one-dayer against India to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here on Sunday.

Set a formidable target of 293, India seemed on track for a facile win with Kohli (123 off 110 balls) anchoring the chase with his 18th ODI century before pacer Mitchell McClenaghan’s three-wicket burst 11 balls changed the complexion of the game completely.

From a comfortable 224 for five, the Indians were all out for 268 in 48.4 overs with McClenaghan being the wrecker-in-chief with a match haul of 4/68.

Earlier, electing to bowl after winning the toss, India’s inconsistent bowling effort helped New Zealand pile up 292 for seven.

For the Kiwis, apart McClenaghan, Corey Anderson shone bright with an all-round effort, scoring 68 runs off 40 deliveries before knocking off two wickets in his 10 overs of medium pace bowling.

After being put in to bat, half-centuries from Anderson, Kane Williamson (71) and Ross Taylor (55) helped the hosts reach 292/7 in their allotted 50 overs. However, the brightest star of the match ended up on the losing side. Kohli, who scored his a first hundred in a losing cause while chasing, found no support from other batsmen, none of whom managed to reach even the 50-run mark.

Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started with great caution. Southee bowled two maiden overs first up as the batsmen took time settling down. In fact, the first wicket came before the first boundary in this innings, as Rohit failed to rotate the strike and came under pressure to score, holing out to Southee off a short ball from McClenaghan in the sixth over. He scored only 3 runs off 23 balls.

Kohli came to the crease and got off the mark with a signature cover drive, the first four for India on the 29th ball of the innings.  Along with Dhawan, he put on 58 runs for the second wicket as the two batsmen tried to build a platform from which to launch the chase before Dhawan’s dismissal.

Raina added 45 runs with Kohli for the fourth wicket and their runs came in good time at a run-rate of 6.14. But even so, the asking run-rate continued to always climb higher and trouble resurfaced when Raina was out, attempting a loose pull-shot like Dhawan, off Milne. He scored 18 runs off 22 balls, with two fours.

Ajinkya Rahane (7) was out to a superb one-handed catch by Nathan McCullum. The ball, played towards mid-off, seemed to dip before the off-spinner caught it, leaving the batsman shocked.

At the other end, however, Kohli continued unfazed. But after Raina’s dismissal in the middle overs, he settled down with skipper Dhoni to try and dig India out of the hole.
The Indian captain scored 40 runs off only 46 balls, with two fours and two sixes. More importantly, he rotated the strike well with Kohli as the two put up 95 runs for the fifth wicket in just 85 balls. 

In the 38th over, Kohli reached his 18th ODI hundred, off 94 balls with 10 fours and a six. He celebrated with joy as the chase looked set. They accelerated with a plan in mind as 51 runs came off the second powerplay without any loss of wickets.

But the turning point came when Dhoni was out caught behind in the 43rd over, off McClenaghan.

Three balls later, he removed Ravindra Jadeja (0), also caught behind. Kohli still didn’t give up, hitting boundaries at will, but he was finally out in the 45th over, caught sharply by Jesse Ryder, who had earlier misjudged a skier from Kohli when he was on 95, at cover. The Indian innings came to an end when Southee bowled Ishant Sharma (5). Mohammad Shami was unbeaten on 7 runs.

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