Team India has registered decisive win against New Zealand in OD1 series, probably for the second time in nearly four decades of play in that country. They defeated New Zealand in the fifth and final ODI at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. With this win, they have won the five-match series 4-1.
India won the final ODI of the five-match series against New Zealand by 35 runs in a relatively low-scoring affair at Wellington on Friday. Needing 253 to win, New Zealand could only muster 217 before being dismissed in 44.1 overs, once again failing to bat out their full quota of overs and ensuring India finished the series as 4-1 winners.
Reeling at 18/4 in the 10th over, India’s middle-order came up with a strong batting show, courtesy Ambati Rayudu’s brilliant 90 to take the tourists to a competitive 252. In the bowling department, Yuzvendra Chahal once again emerged as the pick of the bowlers for Team India as he scalped 3 wickets, Mohammed Shami also contributed with 2/35 to derail Kiwi chase
Rayudu was well supported by all-rounder Vijay Shankar (45 runs), who scored a brilliant 45. Both of them knitted a crucial 98-run stand and weathered a hostile spell of fast bowling by Kiwi pacers. Later, it was all about Hardik Pandya – who played a magnificent cameo of 45 runs off just 22 deliveries that helped India cross the 250-mark.
Earlier, the Indian top-order struggled again in testing conditions before Rayudu and Vijay Shankar bailed the visitors out of deep trouble. India’s middle-order, which has been under scrutiny, delivered under pressure after the visitors were left gasping at 18 for four.
Rayudu (90 off 113) and Vijay Shankar (45 off 64) shared a 98-run stand for the fifth wicket to lead India’s recovery before a spectacular cameo from Hardik Pandya (45 off 22) pushed India past 250. Pacer Matt Henry was the standout bowler for the hosts, taking four wickets for 35 runs while Trent Boult picked up three for 39.
After a ‘humiliating’ loss in the fourth ODI in which India were shot out for 92, captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and took the challenge of batting first on a surface aiding the fast bowlers.