About the Match
New Zealand pulled off a sensational last-over win in the second ODI to register their first victory of their tour of India; the series hangs in the balance at 1-1 and both teams will face each other at Mohali for the 3rd ODI on 23rd October. Chasing a modest target of 243, the hosts ran into trouble after a top-order collapse and they were all-out losing the match by a narrow 6 runs. The Kiwis ended their winless drought and the victory would surely boost their morale; it needs to be seen if the visitors can continue their good run or fail to stop India from bouncing back here on Sunday.
The bowlers did a good job taking regular wickets and stifling the Kiwi batting line-up; Umesh Yadav provided the opening breakthrough with Guptill’s dismissal right in the first over while spinners Amit Mishra and youngster Jadhav took 4 wickets between them. Speedster Bumrah claimed 3-35 to contain the middle order and with help from Axar Patel, the bowlers restricted Kiwis to 242 runs.
The chase wasn’t a tough one but the Indian top-order fell cheaply bringing the scoreboard to 4-73; the responsibility of getting the runs fell on Dhoni and the younger lot in the lower-order but despite the captain scoring 39 and Jadhav putting up an all-round feat of 41 off 37, they fell short by 6 runs. Pandya and Patel also tried to keep the scoreboard ticking but they succumbed to pressure in the end. In the first ODI, Kohli had impressed with an unbeaten 85 from 81 to chase down 191 runs but he couldn’t repeat the feat here; the batsmen can focus on building steady partnerships here.
They have a deep batting unit with experts like Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Kohli and the young talent; they will definitely bring all their firepower here to bounce back and take a lead yet again.
Kane Williamson led from the front this time with a spectacular 118 off 128 to give the Kiwis a respectable total of 242 on board; he became the quickest Kiwi to reach his 8th ODI hundred and is in good form to give the Indian bowlers a headache. Tom Latham played a useful knock, contributing with a well-made 46 but others like Guptill, Taylor, Anderson and Ronchi failed to get the big runs.
Defending a low total yet again, the Kiwi seamers combined well this time to outwit the famed Indian batting; Tim Southee used his skills to take 3-52 while speedsters Henry and Boult took 3 wickets between them. Spinners Santner and Guptill brought out clever variations to demolish the Indian middle order; they did a fine job, in the end, to help the team register their first win.
The batsmen haven’t been able to come out all guns blazing till now but Williamson’s feat can inspire his mates to do better; the bowling mix of pace and spin seems to be working well and they will use well-thought of tactics to try and stifle the Indians on Sunday.
New Zealand has drawn level with India in the 5-match series and the recent victory will surely motivate them to put up a better fight. However, we feel that India with the home advantage and a strong combination of experience and result-oriented youngsters is better placed to emerge victorious