In the first one-day international played on Friday, New Zealand rebounded to defeat India by seven wickets, thanks in large part to Tom Latham’s counterattacking hundred that helped New Zealand regain the upper hand.
After scoring 306 for seven runs on a ground where a total of 300 or more has been chased only once before, India was optimistic about their chances after leaving the New Zealanders at 88 for three runs in the 20th over after they had posted their own score.
Latham’s unbeaten 145 off 104 balls and Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 94 off 98 deliveries helped the hosts reach the target with 17 balls to spare. Together, they added 221 runs for an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership. However, the visitors had the last laugh in the end. The visitors reached the target with 17 balls to spare.
At the end of the 39th over, New Zealand needed 91 runs in 66 balls, which worked out to an average of about 8.30 runs per over.
Latham had accumulated 25 runs by the time Shardul Thakur (1/63) had finished his forgettable 40th over, and the home team was in complete command of the game. Latham’s contributions to his total included four fours, a six, and a four.
This over completely changed the match in favour of New Zealand, as the visitors fought to hold Latham, who galloped towards victory when the over was done.
Williamson smashed seven fours and one maximum during his aggressive innings, while Latham’s aggressive innings included as many as 19 boundaries and five sixes.
Although the teenager from Jammu proved to be pricey, the tearaway pacer Umran Malik (2/66) made his presence felt on debut with his thunderbolts after an outstanding performance by the Indian hitters.
After being out in the first ball of the game, Shreyas Iyer recovered his form with a tidy half-century, and then Washington Sundar raced away to a 37 off of only 16 balls to help India reach a total that was competitive.
After the visitors were put in to bat, not only did Iyer get 80 runs off of 76 balls, but also Shikhar Dhawan scored 72 runs off of 77 balls, and Shubman Gill scored 50 runs off 65 balls.
Umran took his first wicket in an ODI when Devon Conway tried to hit an expansive drive off of a rapid delivery but only managed to get an outside edge, allowing Rishabh Pant to take an easy catch. Umran then took the wicket.
When Umran cut one of his blades toward the deep point, Daryl Mitchell became Umran’s second victim. Even though that wasn’t one of the better deliveries he threw that day, the pressure he created with his fast delivery undoubtedly assisted him in taking the wicket.
However, Williamson and Latham fought back to win the match for the Kiwis with a monumental combination, leaving the Indians in a state of astonishment.
Earlier, Sundar smashed three sixes and as many fours to prop up India at the death, while Iyer hit four maximums and as many boundaries after entering the game following a scoreless outing in the final Twenty20 International two days earlier. Both players were able to score runs in the final over of their respective innings.
After winning the toss, New Zealand elected to field first. Although Kane Williamson’s bowlers were successful in preventing the Indians from getting off to a fast start, skipper Dhawan and Gill were able to open up after being watchful.
After reaching 40 runs in the first 10 overs, the Indian openers wanted to boost the run rate and searched for boundaries. This came after Gill was dropped by Lockie Ferguson off the bowling of Matt Henry.
Their efforts were successful as India reached the century mark in the 21st over, with Dhawan and Gill regularly clearing the ropes to contribute to the victory.
During the 15th over, Dhawan scored two consecutive fours by slashing Henry behind deep point and clipping him off pads.
After that, the India skipper hit Adam Milne for two more boundaries, one of which was a brilliant upper cut that brought India’s total to 100.
After hitting two sixes over long-on and third man, both of which required a fantastic ramp shot, Gill earned his third maximum when he smacked left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner down to the ground and through the sightscreen. Previously, Gill had already struck two sixes over long-on and third man.
While Dhawan was getting two boundaries off Tim Southee, Gill was sweeping Santner for a boundary and getting closer and closer to the fifty-run mark. However, shortly after hitting his half-century, Gill was dismissed because he was unable to clear Devon Conway in the deep off Ferguson. This resulted in his team losing the match.
Soon after that, Dhawan, who appeared to be in top form, was also removed after hitting Southee straight to Finn Allen at point.
After the batter had attempted the ramp shot against a short delivery from Milne, Iyer was given a chance at life by Tom Latham when he was on the score of 11.
Pant went for the pull one delivery after guiding Ferguson to the fine leg boundary, but he dragged it onto his stumps, bringing an end to an innings that failed to instil any confidence in the audience.
This pushed the man-in-form, Suryakumar Yadav, into the middle of the action. He got off the mark with a beautiful cover drive after being placed into the middle. However, two balls later, he was walking back to the dressing room after edging the snappy Ferguson to Allen at first slip. Allen was the fielder who made the catch.
Iyer and Sanju Smason, who scored 36 runs off 38 balls, then collaborated to build a 94-run partnership that helped the team maintain its composure until the latter was taken out by Glenn Phillips’s outstanding catch.