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Twitter Reactions: Determined Ross Taylor and Tom Latham stun India as New Zealand chase 348 in Hamilton

Shreyas Iyer's maiden international ton went in vain.

Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand have finally managed to defeat India on the tour. And they did it in style chasing down a mammoth target of 348 runs at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. Ross Taylor who was at the helm in those final overs during the T20I series and, in a way, was guilty of not finishing the games, smacked his 21st ODI century and this time finished the game for his team to take then 1-0 up in the three-match series.

The Kiwis, chasing 348, got off to an excellent yet sedate start. Henry Nicholls played a lot of deliveries upfront with Martin Guptill being a mere spectator. However, both the batsmen were up to the mark in their approach churning runs as and when they were on offer. Nicholls was impressive in particular playing some remarkable strokes.

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The opening association of 85 runs was broken finally in the 16th over by Shardul Thakur. Martin Guptill, who was looking out of sorts, tried to uppercut a short ball from the bowler but couldn’t find the distance only to get caught in the deep. The debutant Tom Blundell failed to get to the double figures in his maiden outing with the bat and at 109/2 in the 20th over, India were in complete control of the game.

Ross Taylor’s arrival changed the game for the hosts as he played his shots whenever there was width on offer. Moreover, he should’ve been dismissed when on 12 off Ravindra Jadeja. But Kuldeep Yadav dropped the easiest of catches to reprieve the veteran and he made the visitors pay for the blip. Meanwhile, Nicholls completed his half-century and got run-out trying to steal an unnecessary single.

Though he scored 78 runs off 82 deliveries to lay the foundation in the chase. Tom Latham arrived at the crease with the team needing 177 runs in almost 20 overs. What followed was absolute carnage in the next 10 overs! Taylor and Latham literally smacked the Indian bowlers out of the park like anything. They were toying with the opposition and taking toll of the short boundaries.

Taylor was going after everything and was middling the ball as well. The way things were panning, at one stage, it seemed New Zealand will chase down the target with around five overs to spare. The duo had added 117 runs during the overs 31-40 to make it a no contest. But then, everyone was aware of what had transpired in the T20I series and when Latham got out after scoring 69 (off 48 balls), India still believed.

To make matters worse, Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme couldn’t add much to the total and when the latter’s wicket fell, New Zealand still needed 17 runs to win. But there he was, the most experienced Kiwi batsman, Ross Taylor. He was determined to stay in the middle until the end on the day and the veteran won the game for his team while also notching up his 21st ODI ton in the process.

Mitchell Santner put the finishing touches to the innings to help the team get over the line in the 49th over of the innings as New Zealand, eventually, comfortably chased down 348 with four wickets in hand.

Shreyas Iyer’s ton and Rahul’s 88* propel India

Earlier, after losing the toss, India got off to a decent enough start thanks to their debutants Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. The duo took some time to understand the conditions before unfurling some of the prolific drives and cuts. However, Colin de Grandhomme managed to strike in the eighth over breaking the 50-run stand dismissing Shaw who nicked behind to the keeper.

In the very next over, Agarwal was also sent back after failed to keep the cut shot down off Tim Southee. Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then joined hands to rebuild the innings. They rotated the strike constantly to keep the scoreboard ticking even as the former took care of hitting the boundaries. The 102-run partnership in 20 overs looked ominous for New Zealand at one stage.

Kohli was also looking good to notch up yet another ton after going past the 50-run mark for the 58th time in his ODI career. But Ish Sodhi struck in the first over of his spell to castle Virat Kohli. But the run-scoring didn’t go down for India with KL Rahul attacking from the word go. He made the perfect use of the bowler’s pace to hit sixes targetting the short boundaries at the Seddon Park.

Iyer, at the other end, took his time early on and then went berserk later on in the innings. He also smacked a few humongous sixes to score his maiden international ton. However, he got out soon after reaching the milestone in the 46th over of the innings. Until then, Iyer had added 136 runs along with KL Rahul and at 292/4, India were looking set to post a mammoth total on the board.

And they did so scoring 55 runs off the last 27 deliveries to finish on 347 runs after 50 overs. Kedar Jadhav played his part as well scoring a quickfire 26 off just 15 balls taking apart Southee. Rahul’s knock was special as he continued to impress at number five and remained unbeaten on 88 off just 64 balls with three fours and six eye-pleasing maximums.

Unfortunately, the total didn’t prove to be enough as New Zealand literally blew India away in the second half of the chase courtesy Ross Taylor who scored a brilliant century and their skipper Tom Latham to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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