Latham’s ton help New Zealand beat India by six wickets
Tom Latham and Ross Taylor put on a terrific batting display to see New Zealand overcome India by six wickets in the first game of the one-day series played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. New Zealand bowlers did a commendable job to restrict India to less than 300 runs as Trent Boult did the damage with the new-ball. The batting lineup also produced a pitch perfect as Latham scored a spectacular century to see New Zealand take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
In reply, Indian bowlers did not make any early breakthroughs despite bowling in good areas. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro played to see New Zealand get off to a good start. Munro was dropped by Kedhar Jadhav off the bowling of Jaspreet Bumrah but that did not prove to be costly as left-hander departed after scoring 28 runs. New Zealand lost their first wicket with 48 runs on the board.
Guptill also did followed Munro back to the pavilion as he mistimed a short delivery from Hardik Pandya to see New Zealand lose their second wicket. Ross Taylor came to the crease and was a little scratchy at his innings and took his time to settle down. Latham played well as he managed to put the ball into the gaps.
The spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav failed to make breakthroughs as New Zealand duo of Latham and Taylor put on a mammoth partnership of 200 runs to see the side inch one step close to victory. Taylor played well and fell five runs-short of a well-deserved century. He scored 95 runs off 100 balls and struck eight boundaries in his innings. Latham scored unbeaten 103* runs off 102 balls and smashed eight boundaries to steer his side to victory.
Earlier in the day, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan departed early as Trent Boult made impact with the new-ball. Sharma struggled against Boult and looked comfortable as right-arm pacer Tim Southee as the opener smashed him for two big sixes. His dismissal came in typical fashion as he played across the line to a delivery from Boult to see his stumps get rattled. Boult looked in good rhythm with the new-ball and did pose a lot of challenge to the likes of Virat Kohli and Kedhar Jadhav, who played sensibly not to give their wickets away.
Kane Williamson captaincy was good as rotated his bowlers while Jadhav and Kohli started to rebuild the innings. Jadhav once again gave his wicket away after playing a loose stroke to offer simple caught and bowled chance to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. Dinesh Karthik came to the crease as he replaced Manish Pandey in the lineup and looked busy at the creased. Kohli also had slice of luck in his innings as Santner dropped Kohli off the bowling of medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme.
Kohli looked solid while the rest of the batsmen got starts and failed to produce big scores. Karthik also fell for 37 runs as he mistimed a hook shot off the bowling of Southee. Dhoni also looked in no form as wicket-keeper struggled to get going. He scored 25 runs off 42 balls and added 57 runs with Kohli to see India bring up their 200 runs on the board in the 40th over of the innings. Hardik Pandya could not weave his magic with the ball as he only manage 16 runs off 16 balls while Bhuvneshwar Kumar cameo at the end helped India post 280 runs from their full quota of overs. There is no doubt that the star of the show for India was Virat Kohli who scored 31st century in his 200th game for India. He scored 121 runs off 125 balls and scored nine boundaries in his innings.