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

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

Hardik Pandya India
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: BCCI)

New Zealand held their nerves and clung on till the last over to clinch a narrow 6 run win over India in the 2nd ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi. Chasing 243 runs to win, India was tied down by the highly effective bowling performance from the New Zealand bowling attack led by left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult. The Indians found the chase to be tough right from start right from the start. MS Dhoni (39 from 65 balls) and Kedar Jadhav (41 from 37 balls) kept the flickering hopes alive.

Hardik Pandya later produced a heroic knock, taking the match till the last over. But, his efforts went down the drain as the Kiwis pulled back the match in their favour eventually registered their first win of the tour. The Delhi heat was cramping and it would be safe to say that nothing bothered the Black Caps more than the energy-sucking humidity. But they kept themselves charged and determined to claim their first ODI win in 13 years.

The bowlers deserve all the credit for the win. Seamers Trent Boult (2/25), Matt Henry (1/51) and Tim Southee kept the pressure on the Indians with regular strikes. Spinner Mitchell Santner tied down the chasing side with his economical spell of 1/48. And, not to forget, the starry bowling cameo of Martin Guptill who took 2/6 and was the surprise contributor in the win.

The chasing began on an unconvincing note after opener Rohit Sharma was dismissed cheaply by Boult. His attempt to drive a rising delivery failed and ended in a nick into the hands of the wicket-keeper. India inflicted further damage as the top order failed to contribute. Kohli, Pandey and Rahane all returned for unsatisfactory scores.

Williamson was quick to introduce the spin in the form of Santner. There was heavy dew at the venue and it would have become only tougher of the spinner to operate later on. The move paid off in short time as Santner managed to outsmart Kohli, who spearhead the chase in the first game and got him caught at leg slip in the 11th over.

Pressure mounted on India by the 20th over after they inflicted a two huge blows. Southee chipped in with the wicket of important wicket of Rahane in the 19th over. Two balls later, Pandey was run out. A superb fielding effort from Santner caught the right-hander short of the crease at the batting end while trying to steal a quick double. He could have made it on most of the occasions but today he was undone by the splendid fielding effort from the Santner in the deep.

MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav then built a 66 run stand for the 5th wicket and kept the scoreboard ticking. But the duo’s efforts could not help India to change the momentum of the game. Hopes of a win suffered a huge dent after MS Dhoni lost his wicket in the 40th overs. Hardik Pandya added spice to the contest towards the end and tried snatching the game away but was eventually unsuccessful.

Batting first, New Zealand compiled 242/9 in 50 overs riding on skipper Kane Williamson’s fantastic 118. The whole Black Caps batting revolved around Kane Williamson’s batting show. The skipper came at the crease in the first over and batted firmly till the 43rd over. At one stage, the batting side had a superb platform set and a 280+ score looked possible in all probability.

Guptill yet again failed to play a substantial knock and knocked over by Umesh Yadav for a second ball duck. Dhoni chose to open with the same opening bowling combination of Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya. Both looked sharp with the ball again. But, skipper Williamson – Latham made sure that there was no repeat of the Dharamsala fiasco.

The duo successfully thwarted the Indian fast bowlers and dominated the start of the game despite the early setback. The pair added 120 runs for the second wicket almost at a run a ball rate. It seemed that they had set their eyes on a big score.

But, once the partnership ended with the wicket of Tm Latham, the balance shifted from the batting side to the bowling side. MS Dhoni once again tasted success with the Kedar Jadhav experiment as the part-timer snapped Latham in the 21st over to earn the ‘golden arm’ tag from the commentators.

Williamson was in no mood to give up but his partners prove to be fragile. But the India bowlers began getting them one by one to leave curb the well set Williamson from flourishing. The spinners kept a tight control over the scoring rate. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, in particular, was in wicket taking mood and did most of the damage. He claimed both the struggling middle order men Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson before landing a heavy blow to the Kiwis in the form of Kane Williamson in the 43rd over.

Ross Taylor was trying to work his work his way and support his skipper. But, he could never get going and fell to Mishra 21 off 42 balls. Anderson’s story in the middle was also similar. He also kept chugging runs before becoming Mishra’s 2nd victim in the 41st over. An over later, Mishra snapped Williamson to push the brakes on the run flow completely. Williamson’s departure triggered a downfall and hampered New Zealand’s quest of a huge total. It was testing day for Williamson.

Williamson’s departure gave Indian bowlers an opportunity to bring back India back into the game. The rest of the Kiwi batting order turned out to be complete bloopers and slumped badly from 158/2 in the 31st over to 242/9 at the end of 50th over. The last six wickets could add only 38 runs to the scoreboard.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand: 242/9 in 50 overs (Kane Williamson 118; J Bumrah 3/35)

India: 236 in 49.3 overs (K Jadhav 41; Tim Southee 3/52)

Man of the Match: Kane Williamson