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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Report: New Zealand vs India, 3rd ODI - India Tour NZ

With two runs required to win off the last ball, Ravindra Jadeja worked a Corey Anderson delivery to mid-off to take a single and tie the game, keeping the five-match ODI series alive. The all-rounder remained not out on 66. With India on 79 for four, while chasing 315, MS Dhoni led India's fight back. Ravichandran Ashwin joined in with a 46-ball 65, while Jadeja played a brave knock to tie the game. With two matches remaining, NZ lead the series 2-0. (Also Read: Stats Highlights: NZ vs Ind, 3rd ODI)

After the centurion Martin Guptill-led batting line-up set India a competitive target, Anderson helped keep the visitors in check with a five-wicket haul. However, Jadeja’s quick-fire innings, after Ashwin’s blitzkrieg, averted defeat. 

Earlier, the Guptill-Kane Williamson pair put the hosts in a commanding position with a 153-run second-wicket partnership at Auckland. After getting off to a slow start, Guptill exploded after reaching his 50. In company of Kane Williamson, who hit his third consecutive 50, they plundered the Indian bowling attack. Varun Aaron, who replaced Ishant Sharma in playing XI, was smashed all over the park, especially by Guptill and Ronchi. 

Guptill bided his time at the crease during Jesse Ryder’s short stay in the middle, but then with the arrival of Williamson, the run-rate quickened. Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended Ryder’s stay in the fifth over, the Indians could do little to ebb the flow of runs. 

Lapses in the field by the Indians and some breathtaking strokeplay by the Black Caps tipped the balance in the hosts’ favour. In the 31st over, Williamson was dropped while on 62 after hitting Mohammed Shami through the covers. However, in the bowler’s next over, he toppled Williamson’s bails, and then Ashwin bowled Corey Anderson in the next to give his team a vital breakthrough. 

But Guptill continued to take the attack to the bowlers. He reached his century with a single. But while on 111, he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Rahane off Jadeja. Brendon McCullum followed him back in the next over.

Luke Ronchi then joined Ross Taylor in the middle and cracked the whip on the bowlers. While Taylor held his end, Ronchi went on the offensive. He dealt in fours and sixes to add to the total. A while later, a direct hit from Ajinkya Rahane found Taylor short of the crease. 

While the Kiwis continued to pick quick singles, Dhoni’s boys struck once again in the next over to send back Nathan McCullum, while Ronchi was caught by Rahane off Jadeja. Three overs later, a diving catch by Jadeja removed Matthew McClenaghan. But Tim Southee assaulted the Indian bowlers with a little over three overs left. His six to deep fine leg grazed Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s hands at the boundary as he took NZ past 300. He slammed two more, until he was run out on the last ball. 

Chasing the mountainous target, the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put together a 64-run stand for the visitors in nine overs, before Brendon McCullum introduced Anderson into the attack. The all-rounder halted the partnership with the wicket of Dhawan off the second ball. The wicket also helped curb the flow of runs. Hamish Bennett, who had conceded 10 runs off his first over, followed up with two maidens from the other end. With runs hard to come by, pressure crept in, and Anderson struck again. This time it was Rohit (39) who departed with a miscued shot to thirdman. 

In the next over, Virat Kohli edged Bennett the ‘keeper leaving India on 74 for three. And couple of overs a later, an Anderson delivery going down the leg side brushed the No.4’s bat and was collected by Ronchi behind the stumps. 

With 236 more to win, the India captain took guard opposite Suresh Raina. The pair stitched together a partnership the run flow was was halted by Southee. He ended the stand for 67 with Raina’s wicket. Ravichandran Ashwin then came out to bat ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. 38 runs later, the India captain was out.

Ashwin, however, continued to fight back with Ravindra Jadeja for company. He found the boundary consistently and brought up his 50 in just 35 balls. However, a magnificent catch by Guptill at the boundary saw the back of Ashwin. Bennett then followed up with the wicket of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

Shami too perished while taking the aerial route against. With the run-rate escalating and the last man at the other end, Jadeja powered on. 

He survived another chance as Bennett grassed a catch. He launched into the attack with Varun Aaron at the other end as they inched towards the target. Though he couldn’t take the team to victory, he leveled the game by picking 17 runs off the final over. 

New Zealand 314 (Guptill 111, Williamson 65) tied with India 314 for 9 (Jadeja 66*, Ashwin 65, Dhoni 50, Anderson 5-63)

Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja for his match saving 45-ball 66*

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