Bhuvi blasts Kiwis and the series is locked one-all

By Kersi Meher-Homji

From the perch of pinnacle, Virat Kohli’s men were brought down to earth by New Zealand in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Mumbai on Saturday.

Kohli’s scored a stroke-filled 121 and India made 8 for 280. Kiwi quickies excelled, Trent Bolt taking 4-35 and Tim Southee 3-73.

This was Kohli’s 31st ODI hundred in his 200th match, becoming the second batsman after South Africa’s AB de Villiers to hit a century in his 200th ODI. Only Sachin Tendulkar’s has hit more ODI centuries, 49.

Experts had expected another victory for India but the visitors batted brilliantly and won by six wickets to lead the three match series 1-0.

This was brought about by a magnificent 200 run partnership between Ross Taylor (95) and Man of the Match Tom Latham (103 not out). This is a record partnership for NZ against India.

Cut to the quick at the defeat in Mumbai, India fought back in Pune in the second ODI on Wednesday. Bhuvneshwar (Bhuvi) Kumar seamed and swung the ball alarmingly and soon NZ was 4 for 58. The visitors totalled 9 for 230.

With opener Shikhar Dhawan hitting 68 and Dinesh Karthik an unbeaten 64, India reached the target with six wickets and 24 balls in hand to level the series 1-all.

This was the 100th ODI between India and New Zealand.

A pleased Kohli said at the presentation, “Great to see Bumrah and Bhuvi, they are our top two bowlers, they know they will start more often than not, so they can create plans. And today with the wicket being slow, it was great to see them getting batsmen out in conventional ways, not ugly wickets. Shikhar [Dhawan] has been playing very well, one odd game he’s faltered, but he’s hitting the ball really well and he’s getting good runs at the top. Dinesh [Karthik] as well, getting crucial runs for himself and for the team. We look forward to any challenge on us. We spoke about needing to bounce back, and we’ve done that.”

The decider will be played at Kanpur on Sunday.

 

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