| Mathew Sinclair and Scott Styris celebrate in Queenstown on Saturday, as Ajit Agarkar and Mohammed Kaif walk off. (Reuters)
Queenstown, Jan. 4 (PTI): The poor run continued for the world’s richest cricketers as the Indians gifted yet another match and the one-day series to New Zealand who demolished them easily here on Saturday.
There was no pause in India’s batting nightmare as the visitors were shot out for 122, a target the New Zealanders overtook comfortably to win by seven wickets and go 4-0 up in the seven match series. The Indians had lost both the Test matches and now continue to remain winless on the tour.
A substantial crowd witnessed another embarrassing display of mindless batting by the Indians who failed for the fourth successive time in the series to last their allocated 50 overs.
Unlike the seamer-friendly wickets in the earlier matches, the strip here was good for batting. But the Indian players were unwilling to learn any lessons from their previous failures and batted poorly throughout the innings to inflict another humiliating defeat on themselves.
However India got off to a good start after being put in to bat by New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming. But a familiar middle-order collapse, triggered by irresponsible shot-making and some fine bowling and fielding performance from the hosts, saw the platform being wasted. India were shot out in 43.4 overs.
Medium-pacer Andre Adams celebrated his return to the Black Cap side with a career-best five-wicket haul. His five for 22 from 8.4 overs was also the best figures by a New Zealand bowler against India.
Once again not a single Indian batsman could reach even the 30s with Yuvraj Singh’s patient 25 being the top-score of the innings. Virender Sehwag (23) opened with Rahul Dravid (18), but could not provide any ray of hope as they once again lacked the services of star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, missing the fourth consecutive match due to a sprained ankle.
In contrast, New Zealand raced to their target in just 25.4 overs with Fleming signalling a return to form with making a strokeful 47 which included five fours and one six.
Nathan Astle was dismissed for 15 but Fleming and Matthew Sinclair, who remained unbeaten on 32, put on 73 runs for the second wicket to ensure that New Zealand’s road to victory was smooth.
Srinath, who claimed all the three wickets, dismissed Fleming and Craig McMillan (0) in quick succession but with just 20 more runs required, the hosts were hardly under any threat.