Thursday, 23 January 2014 00:00
ESPNCricinfo: New Zealand pushed India off the No. 1 position in ODIs with another clinical performance although India’s middle order demanded that their bowlers stay at it till the end. Largely, though, the match followed the first ODI’s script.
Jesse Ryder went bang bang for too brief a while, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor scored fifties to set up a final assault, Corey Anderson nearly blasted the fastest ODI fifty too, India had a big chase at hand and were kept alive by Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni but New Zealand kept producing timely wickets to pull India back every time they brought some semblance of parity to the chase.
There was supreme synergy in New Zealand’s innings, cut down to 42 overs because of rain that arrived in the 34th over. When Martin Guptill took his time at the top, Jesse Ryder smacked 20 off 11, making sure New Zealand were under no pressure when the ball started gripping for spinners on a slow surface. Guptill overcame the slow start, and added 89 with Williamson in 15.3 overs. Williamson and Taylor then nicely set it up for big hitting, and when the rain arrived New Zealand had lost only two wickets, which meant they would get a big boost when the target would be readjusted. And then Anderson and Taylor went berserk in a 74-run partnership in 4.4 overs. During that period that proved to be the difference in the end, Anderson scored 44 off 17, holing out when he went for the fifty off the 17th, and Taylor took 26 off 11.
That brutal hitting was in direct contrast to the delightful batting of Williamson, who played the most difficult shot to play on a slow pitch, the back-foot drive on the up, with ease. He didn’t play shots that left mouths agape, but found all the small gaps on the field. When he was set for a century - he was in the last game too - the rain arrived, and with only 8.4 overs to go on the comeback he perished trying to charge at Ravindra Jadeja in order to go over extra cover.
This wasn’t exactly bad news for New Zealand. Williamson had batted superbly without violence, but now was some time for violence. And violence there was when Anderson and Taylor set themselves up to clear the short boundaries. Anderson hit a six over long-on, and two each over long-off and midwicket; Taylor preferred the gaps, hitting only seven fours and no sixes. India pulled New Zealand back with only 23 in the last 3.2 overs, but like in the first ODI it turned out to be too little and too late.
Chief scores: New Zealand 271 for 7 (Williamson 77, Taylor 57) in 42 overs beat India 277 for 9 (Kohli 78, Dhoni 56, Southee 4-72) in 41.3 overs by 15 runs (D/L)