Virat Kohli's ton in vain as India start Kiwi tour with a loss
Napier: Virat Kohli's exhilarating hundred went in vain as New Zealand staged a dramatic turnaround to pull off a thrilling 24-run win in the first cricket one-dayer against India to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here today.
Set a formidable target of 293, India seemed on track for a facile win with Kohli (123 off 110 balls) anchoring the chase with his 18th ODI century before pacer Mitchell McClenaghan's three-wicket burst 11 balls changed the complexion of the game completely.
Virat Kohli celebrates after reaching the three-figure mark during the first international one day cricket match between New Zealand and India in Napier at McLean Park on Sunday. Pic/AFP
From a comfortable 224 for five, the Indians were all out for 268 in 48.4 overs with McClenaghan being the wrecker-in-chief with a match haul of 4/68.
Earlier, electing to bowl after winning the toss, India's inconsistent bowling effort helped New Zealand pile up 292 for seven.
For the Kiwis, apart McClenaghan, Corey Anderson shone bright with an all-round effort, scoring 68 runs off 40 deliveries before knocking off two wickets in his 10 overs of medium pace bowling.
Tim Southee (1-43 in 9.4 overs) and Adam Milne (1-40 in 7.3 overs) gave Anderson good support, even as the latter walked off mid-way in the 41st over with a side-strain.
After being put in to bat, half-centuries from Anderson, Kane Williamson (71) and Ross Taylor (55) helped the hosts reach 292/7 in their allotted 50 overs.
However, the brightest star of the match ended up in the losing side.
Kohli, who scored his first hundred in a losing cause while chasing, found no support from other batsmen, none of who managed to reach even the 50-run mark.
Opener Rohit Sharma, who failed miserably in South Africa, looked at sea in foreign conditions once again and was dismissed for three after facing 23 balls.
Interestingly, Kohli came to the crease and got off the mark with a signature cover drive, the first four for India on the 29th ball of the innings.
Rohit’s opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (32) fared much better, falling to Anderson in the 19th over.
Both Ajinkya Rahane (7) and Suresh Raina (18) failed to make a real contribution and the visitors found themselves in a spot of bother at 129 for four in 28.2 overs.
Kohli and Dhoni combined well and notched a 95-run stand for the fifth wicket, taking India closer to the target.
The Indian captain scored 40 runs off only 46 balls, with two fours and two sixes. More importantly, he rotated the strike well with Kohli as the two put up 95 runs for the fifth wicket in just 85 balls.
With Stuart Binny knocking on the doors, Ravindra Jadeja (0) didn't do himself any favours with a dismal show with the bat.
Kohli hit a few lusty blows to keep India's hopes alive but his fall in the 45th over ended all chances of an Indian win.
Some clean hitting by Ravichandran Ashwin (12) and Mohammad Shami(7 not out) managed to take India close but it was never enough.
Earlier, Anderson smashed an unbeaten 68 off 40 balls to take New Zealand to 292 for seven after being asked to bat first.
After losing both openers Martin Guptill (8) and Jesse Ryder (18) cheaply, it was Kane Williamson who crafted the innings initially, stroking his way to 71 off 88 balls, guiding New Zealand to safety.
Mohammad Shami, on his first tour to New Zealand, bowled brilliantly, removing both openers before dismissing the dangerous Ross Taylor and Nathan McCullum (2).
Williamson, along with former captain Ross Taylor (55), steadied the ship with a patient 121-run stand for the third wicket.
The hosts lost Williamson just before the final powerplay, paving the way for former opener and captain Brendon McCullum (30).
Shami dismissed Taylor early in the powerplay but New Zealand still managed to score 41 off the five overs.
That set the stage for Anderson, who recently displaced Pakistan's Shahid Afridi as the holder of the record for the fastest hundred in ODIs.
Anderson bludgeoned his way to a half-century in just 30 balls. New Zealand benefited immensely as Anderson and Luke Ronchi (30 off 18 balls) combined well to rack up 50 runs off just five overs.
To their credit, however, India managed to limit the damage by bowling full-length balls well outside the off-stump. The tactic worked in keeping Anderson quiet in the fag end of the innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who picked up a solitary wicket, was the most economical of the Indian bowlers but Shami was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 55 runs in his spell of nine overs.
Brief Scores: New Zealand: 292/7 in 50 overs (Kane Williamson 71, Corey Anderson 67 not out, Ross Taylor 55, Mohammed Shami 4/55). India: 268 all out in 48.4 overs (Virat Kohli 123, M S Dhoni 40, Mitchell McClenaghan 4/68).