India beat Kiwis by six wickets
India set up a final showdown with Sri Lanka as they defeated New
Zealand by six wickets in their Compaq Cup Tri Series limited overs
tournament match worked off under lights at the R. Premadasa Stadium
After having dismissed the Kiwis for a modest 155 runs from 46.3
overs, the Indians reached their target with nearly 10 overs and six
wickets to spare. India will take on Sri Lanka today at the same venue
in the last league match of the tournament in what would be a dress
rehearsal ahead of Monday’s final encounter.
Even then India went through some anxious moments on their way
towards reaching their target against some hostile bowling from Shane
Bond and Kyle Mills. They were in a real spot of trouble when Yuvraj
Singh departed in the 25th over leaving them at a shaky 84 for 4
This was after veteran Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid had put on
64 runs for the second wicket. However a double blow by skipper Daniel
Vettori brought New Zealand back into the game that added more pressure
on the Indian middle order.
But Suresh Raina joined skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the pair
held their nerves together to carry India towards their target with a
crucial unfinished fifth wicket stand of 72 runs.
India also overcame the jinx of winning while batting second under
lights at the Premadasa Stadium after 11 one day internationals.
Earlier the Indian pacemen produced a fine example of seam bowling to
rattle the Kiwi batsmen after Daniel Vettori had won the toss and
elected to bat first. But that decision certainly back fired as they
just could not make use of the good batting opportunities.
A determined Indian side was able to grab the initiative immediately
following some disciplined fast bowling from the left arm new ball pair
of Ashish Nehra and R. P. Singh. They made certain that there will be no
contest at the end by reducing the opposition to 30 for 3 by the tenth
over of the innings.
In fact Nehra struck twice in successive deliveries getting rid of
both openers while R. P. Singh removed Ross Taylor in the sixth over to
have the New Zealand team struggling at 19 for 3 in the sixth over.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to maintain the pressure
throughout the innings and was rewarded well following some clever
bowling changes. India was able to pick up a wicket every time they made
a bowling change which also ensured there will be no big partnerships in
the New Zealand innings.
Yuvraj Singh was a classic example of this as he responded
magnificently and exploited the conditions to good effect while
capturing three important wickets. New Zealand were just beginning to
recover from their shock start with Martin Guptil and Grant Elliot
settling down with some good shot selections.
However the introduction of spin for the first time in the match
(15th over) certainly upset the Kiwi batsmen with Guptil edging Yuvraj
Singh into the hands of first slip Rahul Dravid in the last ball of the
bowling power play overs.
All rounder Jacob Oram joined Elliot and the pair again looked like
pulling New Zealand out of trouble with a decent fifth wicket
partnership. But Yuvraj Singh again shattered the Kiwi hopes of posting
a good total and went on to finish with outstanding figures of three
wickets for 31.
B. McCullum lbw b Nehra 3
J. Ryder lbw b Nehra 0
M. Guptill c Dravid b Yuvraj 22
R. Taylor c Dhoni b Rudra Pratap 11
G. Elliott c Dhoni b Yuvraj 22
J. Oram c and b Sharma 24
N. Broom c Raini b Yuvraj 21
D. Vettori b Sharma 25
K. Mills b Rudra Pratap 6
I. Butler c Harbhajan b Nehra 6
S. Bond not out 10
Extras (lb4, w1) 5
Total (all out in 46.3 overs) 155
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Ryder), 2-4 (McCullum), 3-19 (Taylor), 4-51 (Guptill), 5-66 (Elliott),
6-101 (Oram), 7-116 (Broom), 8-134 (Mills), 9-142 (Vettori), 10-155 (Butler).
Bowling: Nehra 8.3-0-24-3, Rudra Pratap 8-2-22-2 (w1), Sharma 10-2-26-2, Yuvraj 10-0-31-3,
Harbhajan 8-0-39-0, Raina 1-0-4-0, Pathan 1-0-5-0.
D. Karthik lbw b Mills 4
S. Tendulkar c Guptill b Vettori 46
R. Dravid lbw b Oram 14
Yuvraj Singh c Guptill b Vettori 8
MS Dhoni not out 35
S. Raina not out 45
Extras (lb3, w1) 4
Total (for four wickets;40.3 overs) 156
Did not bat: Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Rudra Pratap Singh.
Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Karthik), 2-67 (Dravid), 3-71 (Tendulkar), 4-84 (Yuvraj).
Bowling: Mills 5.3-1-25-1, Bond 10-3-30-0 (w1), Butler 4-0-25-0, Vettori 10-0-33-2,
Oram 7-1-19-1, Elliott 2-0-9-0, Guptill 2-0-12-0.