Tom Latham, Ross Taylor guide Kiwis to victory against India
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New Zealand rode on brilliant knocks from Tom Latham and Ross Taylor to a comprehensive six-wicket victory over India in the first One-Day International (ODI) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday. The duo contributed a 200-run stand for the fourth wicket as the visitors overtook India's total of 280/8 with six balls to spare. This is the highest successful run-chase at the Wankhede. New Zealand have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Latham, who remained unbeaten on 103, smashed the opposition bowlers all over the park to notch up eight boundaries and two sixes in his 102-ball innings. Taylor (95) used his experience from the other end to keep the scoreboard ticking, punishing the loose deliveries.
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New Zealand openers Martin Guptill (32) and Colin Munro (28) helped the side get off to steady start with a 48-run stand for the first wicket. The Indians made a comeback as Guptill, Munro and Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson were sent back to the pavilion in quick succession. But untroubled by the dismissals, Taylor and Latham steered the New Zealand chase, asking difficult questions of the Indian bowling attack. The duo took the visitors to the edge of victory before Taylor fell prey to pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar by handing an easy catch to Yuzvendra Chahal at extra cover. Incoming batsman Henry Nicholls (4 not out) then hit a boundary to score the winning runs in style.
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Indian wrist spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who were successful in the previous series against Australia and Sri Lanka looked rather ineffective against New Zealand. Earlier, India rode on a patient century from skipper Virat Kohli to post 280/8 against New Zealand. Kohli, who scored 121 runs, brought up his 31st ton in his 200th ODI. His 125-ball knock included nine hits to the fence and two sixes. Middle-order batsman Dinesh Karthik (37), making his comeback into the side, also played an important knock. For New Zealand, experienced pacers Trent Boult (4/35) and Tim Southee (3/73) bowled well but failed to restrict India to a low total. Opting to bat first, India lost openers Rohit Sharma (20), Shikhar Dhawan (9) and batsman Kedar Jadhav (12) in quick succession.
Unperturbed by the dismissals, Kohli and Karthik stood firm, punishing the loose deliveries to build a patient partnership of 73 runs for the fourth wicket. However, the partnership was brought to an end by Southee's short-pitched delivery which found the leading edge of Karthik's bat, offering an easy catch to Colin Munro at fine leg. Later, Kohli continued to lead the side with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) adding 63 runs for the fifth wicket which helped the side cross the 200-run mark. Dhoni, who started well failed to continue his innings, after he was caught off a short length delivery by Boult. Later, incoming batsman Hardik Pandya (16) and tailender Bhuvneshwar Kumar (26) played useful cameo knocks with Kohli.
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Kohli, who took charge of the innings since he stepped on the pitch was sent back in the final over by Southee's delivery which found the safe hands of Boult at long on. Brief scores: New Zealand 284/4 (Tom Latham 103, Ross Taylor 95; Pandya 1/46) against India 280/8 (Kohli 121, Karthik 37; Boult 4/35).