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Bowled well in the last 20-25 overs to restrict them to 240: MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni and Kane Williamson
MS Dhoni and Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Kane Williamson led New Zealand to their first victory in what was turning out to be a very frustrating tour for the Kiwis. New Zealand pulled off a tight victory over India by winning a low scoring match by 6 runs, where the tail end of India’s batting, especially Pandya and Umesh Yadav frustrated the Kiwis, stretching the match almost pulling off a seemingly impossible win, before Pandya lost his wicket to a half bouncer from Boult, who finished with excellent figures of 2-25 from his quota of 10 overs, with 2 maidens.

The New Zealand win was facilitated thanks to a century from Kane Williamson and later a disciplined bowling effort highlighted by figures of 2-25 by Trent Boult. The win tied the series at 1-1, now making the things interesting in a seemingly one-sided affair in the matches so far.

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Trent Boult after the match though went on to say that it was an effort from the whole bowling unit, and not just himself. In a post-match interview, Boult said, “I think not just myself, a great effort by the bowling unit to restrict a good Indian side under the target, very satisfying, look forward to Mohali now. It’s a good sign to see the bowling side do well. Pretty happy we did that. Obviously to go for as least as possible, but try and remain aggressive; obviously taking wickets was going to be an advantage [on his last over plans]. There was a lot of moisture here. The wicket was holding up a touch, credit to smart bowling, mixed up the length and mixed up the pace as well.”

Losing captain MS Dhoni said that the team bowled well to check New Zealand for 240, but the dew made the pitch slow, making it tough to play the shots. He also admitted it was not a big total and any of the batsmen could have seen them through, but it was the New Zealand bowlers who bowled well and took the match away from them. Dhoni said after the match, “It’s important when you’re playing at home [for the crowd to be behind you]. This was one game when we kept losing wickets. That was something that hurt us. It wasn’t the run rate which pushed us to play big shots. It’s a day when any of the batsmen could go on and say that “it could have been me”. Felt the NZ bowlers bowled well. Weren’t able to keep wickets in hand despite the slow wicket. Don’t think there was a lot of dew. Still wasn’t coming onto the bat. In the coming games, I’ll be losing a toss somewhere and then we’ll have to bowl well. It was important to get the reverse swing going. Bowled well in the last 20-25 overs to restrict them to 240.”

Also read – India v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Review: Hardik Pandya’s heroics go in vain as New Zealand clinch a close win

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was awarded the Man of the Match for his century, which helped his team put up a respectable total of 242 when he got very less assistance from his teammates. Kane got his first big score in the whole tour and he credited his bowlers for the win. He acknowledged Boult’s extraordinary performance with the ball, also adding that the left-arm spinners also kept it tight to help the pacers be the aggressors on a slow pitch with dew coming into play in the second innings. He also credited India for fighting till the end even after they lost 7 wickets.

In his words, “Obviously nice to talk about something else for a change. Wicket wasn’t easy to increase the scoring rate. Saying that, we were probably a few off from where we wanted to be. We were able to pick up wickets, some of which were quite fortunate. Creating a bit of pressure on that sort of surface was the key. Boult led from the front. I think the bowling was huge for us. Probably we were below par but knew that on this surface we had enough to put on a squeeze. Wasn’t easy with the dew, but the left-arm spinners did a good job. Wasn’t much turn but they were great for us. Allowed the seamers to be the aggressors. Seam bowling was tough to face on that surface. Credit to India as well: they were 6-7 down, but never gave in and fought all the way. Just want to contribute to the team’s performance whether it’s less than a hundred or not. At times there was frustration: it was a good surface but it was tough to increase the scoring and tough to start. I just had a bit of cramp, my arms are fine now.”

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