A blitz (28-ball 58) by Colin de Grandhomme towards the fag end of the game ensured New Zealand chasing down 296 to register a historic whitewash against India in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series on Tuesday (February 11) at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. This is the second time after 1980-81, the Blackcaps have achieved this feat against the Indians whereas the visiting team’s last whitewash in this format happened 31 years back in West Indies.
In their run-chase, New Zealand openers Martin Guptil and Henry Nicholls once again provided their team a solid start with a 106-run stand. But then there were a flurry of wickets in the middle overs which pegged them back. But then de Grandhomme’s cameo alongside Tom Latham’s responsible knock (32*) took the hosts past the winning line with 17 balls and five wickets to spare.
Meanwhile Guptill, en route to his 66 off 46, surpassed Nathan Astle to become New Zealand’s most run-scorer as an opener in ODIs. He took the attack early to the Indian bowlers during the run-chase whereas his partner Nicholls (80 off 103) was more conservative in his shot-making.
In the middle overs, the Indian team took three wickets for just 30 runs in the middle overs as Kane Williamson Ross Taylor and Nicholls had to go back to pavilion. Soon Jimmy Neesham became Yuzvendra Chahal’s third scalp of the day. But the thanks to some wayward bowling by India and a counter-attacking stand between de Grandhomme and Latham took New Zealand home.
For the visiting bowlers it was a forgettable day as Shardul Thakur (1 for 87 in 9.1 overs) and Navdeep Saini (68 runs in 8 overs) were taken into the cleaners by the Kiwi batsmen. Jasprit Bumrah too had an average series as he failed to dismiss a New Zealand batsman in the innings.
Earlier after losing the toss and batting first, India were in a spot of bother losing its top-three for just 62 runs. Skipper Virat Kohli’s poor form continued in this fixture as he was dismissed for just nine, right after hitting a lusty six out of the park.
Nevertheless, following the early wickets KL Rahul Rahul and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship with a century stand. Manish Pandey (42 off 48 balls), playing this game in place of Kedar Jadhav, then supported Rahul during his knock of 112, his fourth ODI ton, as the duo also put on a 100 plus stand but their departures off consecutive balls in the 47th over meant India could not go past the 300-run mark.
For New Zealand, Hamish Bennett registered the best figures with 4/64 in his ten overs, while Kyle Jamieson and Neesham got one wicket each.
India 296 for 7 in 50 overs (Rahul 112, Iyer 62; Bennett 4 for 64) lost to New Zealand 300 for 5 47.1 overs (Nicholls 80, Guptil 66, De Grandhomme 58*; Chahal 3 for 47) by 5 wickets.
Player of the match: Henry Nicholls
Player of the series: Ross Taylor