NZ

New Zealand overcome India's lower-order fightback to snatch series win

NZ v Ind, 3rd ODI, report

Both India and New Zealand had lower-order partnerships of 76, for the eighth and ninth wickets respectively, but the late efforts of Ravindra Jadeja and Navdeep Saini weren't enough to trump those of Ross Taylor and Kyle Jamieson earlier and steal the second ODI from New Zealand in Auckland.

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When Shreyas Iyer fell immediately after passing his fifty and Shardul Thakur followed not too long after, India looked down and out at 153/7 in their chase of 274. It was at this point that Saini (45) combined with Jadeja (55) to produce some outrageous strokes to get India back in the contest. The fast bowler hit five fours and two sixes during a partnership that was punctuated with some missed run-out opportunities.

He was eventually castled by Jamieson, while attempting to slog one too many. Yuzvendra Chahal ran himself out in an attempt to steal an extra run off a misfield to bring it down to Jadeja. The all-rounder had played his part till then, scoring an anchoring fifty, allowing his partners to take the risks to take the game deep. He failed to finish the job, however, as he hit one straight to Colin de Grandhomme at long-off on the third ball of the penultimate over to mark the game's end. 

The 22-run victory for New Zealand on Saturday, 8 February, gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The lower order batted superbly, but India's top order struggled to string together sizeable partnerships. Mayank Agarwal fell early, edging one to first slip off Hamish Bennett, while Prithvi Shaw was done in by an in-dipper from Jamieson to fall for a brisk 19-ball 24. The 25-year-old pacer, on debut, gave a tough time to India skipper Virat Kohli in particular, who looked scratchy during his 25-ball stay.

Kohli was eventually cleaned up by Tim Southee, who breached his defense with a sharp scrambled seam in-dipper that crashed into his stumps. KL Rahul was cleaned up by de Grandhomme, while Kedar Jadhav succumbed to scoreboard pressure, hitting one straight to Henry Nicholls short extra-cover to fall for 9. Iyer's fluent fifty revived hopes, before he attempted an extravagant cut shot off Bennett only to find an edge through to the keeper.

Earlier, Martin Guptill (79) and Nicholls (41) gave New Zealand a solid start, adding 93 runs for the first wicket after Kohli opted to bowl. Both were slow to begin with, managing to score just six singles in the first four overs, before adding 45 in the next six to round off a fine Powerplay. Guptill, especially, played some audacious strokes and his ramp over third-man off Jasprit Bumrah was the highlight.

Chahal gave India the opening, getting rid of Nicholls who was trapped in front after having failed to connect an attempted sweep. Tom Blundell looked good for his 22, before playing one straight to Saini at mid-on off Thakur. Guptill's dismissal was a judgement error, resulting in a run-out, while Tom Latham's dismissal was identical to that of Nicholls, the only difference being that the bowler on this occasion was Jadeja.

Jadeja then showcased his brilliance on the field, firing a direct hit at the striker's end to end Jimmy Neesham's stay on 3, before de Grandhomme skied one to Iyer at deep square leg. Mark Chapman and Southee's dismissals reduced the hosts to 197/8 in the 42nd over and even 200 looked far adrift. 

However, Taylor (73*) remained solid on one end and found able support in Jamieson (25*), as the duo lifted New Zealand to 273/5, 48 of which came in the last four overs. Jamieson consumed 13 balls for his first two runs, before striking a four and two sixes in the final stages. Taylor's late assault, as ever, was characterised by his powerful hoicks on the on side.

The third game of the series will be played at the Bay Oval on 11 February.

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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