Tom Latham extended his superb record against India, scoring 145 not out off 104 balls, while Kane Williamson contributed an unbeaten 94 as New Zealand chased down 307 in the series opener in Auckland on Friday.
The pair added 221 off 165 balls in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand to help New Zealand take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. New Zealand’s seven-wicket victory extended their unbeaten streak at home to 13 ODIs.
New Zealand didn’t have a great start. Shardul Thakur had an excellent opening spell and picked up the wicket of Finn Allen two balls after he was given a reprieve by Yuzvendra Chahal. Umran Malik then impressed on debut with his pace and Washington Sundar kept the runs in check to mount the pressure on New Zealand.
Umran dismissed Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell as the hosts were reduced to 88 for three in the 20th over. Williamson and Latham then staged a dramatic recovery which left India dazed. India were hamstrung by the absence of a sixth bowling option, especially when the chase got close. In the last 11 overs, New Zealand needed 91 and Latham’s offensive took the match away from India’s grasp.
Earlier, half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill, and a cameo from Washington Sundar in the slog overs helped India post a competitive total.
Dhawan and Gill set the platform for India by adding 124 in 23.1 overs, their fourth century stand in nine innings. The dismissal of the openers in cosecutive overs put the brakes on the scoring. Iyer and Rishabh Pant managed only ten runs between overs 27 and 31.
Ferguson dismissed both Pant and Suryakumar Yadav in the 33rd over leaving it to Iyer (80) and Sanju Samson to take up the responsibility of building the innings. They added 94 in 77 balls for the fifth wicket.
“Reaching 307 from the position we were in was a commendable effort,” Iyer said at a media conference. “Few things didn’t go our way. It is a learning curve for us and hopefully we can go back and introspect and come back with new ideas,” he added.
“We can’t play in the T20 mode straightaway in 50 overs because there is more time. One needs to adapt.”