Mishra and Kohli bring Diwali in with a massive victory over Kiwis











By Kersi Meher-Homji

Happy Diwali readers. And something to celebrate too!

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra and other Indian bowlers treated Kiwi batsmen like kali chaudas as they won the One day International (ODI) series 3-2 at the picturesque Visakhapatnam

In reply to India’s 6 for 269 (Rohit Sharma 70, Virat Kohli 65), New Zealanders started promisingly and were 2 for 63. Then Mishra struck violent blows and the tourists lost eight wickets for a measly 16 runs to lose by 190 runs.

Magical Mishra captured 5 for 18 and was made Man of the Match and Man of the Series. The Kiwis were shot out for 79 runs in only 23.1 overs, their shortest ODI innings ever.

The interesting sidelight of the match was that Indian players had printed the name of their mothers on the back of their shirts; Purnima for Rohit Sharma, Sujata for Ajinkya Rahane, Saroj for Kohli, Chanderkali for Mishra…

The series was locked two-all before the decider in Visakhapatnam.

India had won the first ODI in Dharmasala by six wickets. The highlights were provided by New Zealand opener Tom Latham who carried his bat for 79. India won easily with Kohli belting 85 not out.   Man of the Match (MoM) was debutant Hardik Pandya who took 3 for 31 as a medium-pacer.

New Zealand hit back winning the second ODI in Delhi narrowly by six runs. The MoM was the Kiwi captain Kane Williamson who scored an elegant 118.

India won the third ODI in Mohali by seven wickets, thanks to a magnificent partnership of 151 runs for the third wicket between vice-captain Kohli (154 not out) and captain MS Dhoni (80). MoM Kohli was lucky to be dropped when he was only six.

The Kiwis won by 19 runs the fourth ODI at Ranchi to level the series. Man of the Match was New Zealand opener Martin Guptill who scored an aggressive 72.

Stung by this defeat India applied full pressure and won the final match in Visakhapatnam comfortably and the series.

Kohli was outstanding with the bat as he amassed 358 runs in the series at a century average (119.33), highest score 154 not out and three other fifties. Next best was Tom Latham, 244 runs at 61.00, top score an unbeaten 79.

Man of the Series Mishra took 15 wickets at 14.33. Next best was another Indian, Umesh Yadav, 8 wickets at 29.50.

For India to win the series without their ace spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja was indeed creditable. But India had an ideal replacement in Amit Mishra, aged 33. “Whenever there is an opportunity, I give more than 100 percent”, he said at the presentation of awards.

Now India awaits England for a five Test series starting in Rajkot on 9th November.

Interesting trivia:

  • India had similar sounding players in the final ODI at Visakhapatnam: Kedar Jadhav, Jayant Yadav and unrelated Umesh Yadav. New Zealand had Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi.
  • Two of the New Zealand players are sons of former Test cricketers. Tom Lathan’s father Rod Latham and Doug Bracewell’s father Brendon Bracewell had played Test cricket for New Zealand.


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