Tom Latham, Kane Williamson Power New Zealand beats India in series opener | Cricket news


Indian bowlers crumbled in the face of Tom Latham’s hundred on the counter-attack as New Zealand rallied to crush India by seven wickets in the first ODI on Friday. In a ground where a total of over 300 had only been chased once, India took their chances after posting 306 for seven and then left the New Zealanders at 88 for three in the 20th over. The hosts eventually had the last laugh, however, reaching the target with 17 balls to spare thanks to Latham’s unbeaten 104-ball 145 and skipper Kane Williamson’s 94 not out of 98 deliveries as they added 221 runs for an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership.

At the end of the 39th over, New Zealand needed 91 in 66 balls at almost 8.30 runs per over.

By the time Shardul Thakur (1/63) had completed a forgettable 40th over, the hosts were in full control of the game, with Latham amassing 25 points using four fours and a six.

That put the game firmly in New Zealand’s favor as the visitors struggled to contain Latham who galloped to victory.

Latham’s combative innings included a whopping 19 boundaries and five sixes, while Williamson hit seven fours and one maximum.

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Tearaway pacer Umran Malik (2/66) made his presence felt on his debut with his thunderbolts after an impressive showing from the Indian batsmen, although the youngster from Jammu proved to be expensive.

Shreyas Iyer came off a first-ball duck and found form with a neat half-century before Washington Sundar flew off to a 16-ball 37 to lead India to a competitive total.

In addition to Iyer’s 76-ball 80, Shikhar Dhawan (72 off 77 balls) and Shubman Gill (50 off 65) also hit fifty after the tourists were sent to bat.

Umran took his first ODI wicket as Devon Conway went for an extended drive of a fast delivery only to get an outside edge for Rishabh Pant to complete an easy catch.

Daryl Mitchell became Umran’s second victim as he slashed one to a deep point. That wasn’t one of the best bowls he’d bowled that day, but the pressure he put on with his fast pace certainly helped him take the wicket.

However, Williamson and Latham rallied to lift the Kiwis to victory with a great partnership, leaving the Indians stunned.

Earlier, Sundar hit three sixes and as many fours to support India at death, while Iyer reached four maxima and four boundaries, having come into play after his duck in the T20 International final two days ago.

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New Zealand decided to field first after winning the toss and while Kane Williamson’s bowlers prevented the Indians from getting to a flyer, skipper Dhawan and Gill opened after being watchful.

Having reached 40 in the first 10 overs after Gill was dropped off Matt Henry’s bowling by Lockie Ferguson, the Indian openers looked to improve the run rate and look for boundaries.

Their quest paid off as India went past 100 in the 21st, with both Dhawan and Gill regularly clearing the ropes.

Dhawan cut Henry behind a deep point and clipped him off the pads in the 15th over to get two consecutive fours.

The India captain then got two more boundaries, from Adam Milne, including a clever uppercut to bring India’s hundred.

Having already hit two sixes over long-on and third man, using an excellent ramp shot, Gill got his third maximum when he knocked left arm spinner Mitchell Santner down and into the screen.

Even as Dhawan got two boundaries against Tim Southee, Gill Santner swept for a boundary and approached fifty. However, right after reaching his half-century, Gill got out after failing to clear Devon Conway in Ferguson’s depth.

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Dhawan looked good and was sacked soon after when he hit Southee directly to Finn Allen.

Coming to 11, Iyer was offered a life by Tom Latham after the batter attempted to shoot the disaster against a short Milne pitch.

However, one ball after guiding Ferguson to the fine leg boundary, Pant went for the pull and dragged it to his stumps, ending an innings that failed to inspire confidence.

That put the man of form, Suryakumar Yadav, in the centre, who came off target with a superb cover drive. But, two balls later, he headed back to the locker room after shoving the feisty Ferguson at Allen on the first slip.

The duo of Iyer and Sanju Smason (36 off 38 balls) then forged a 94-run partnership to stabilize the ship until the latter fell to a brilliant catch by Glenn Phillips.

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