Thatscricket - News - New Zealand crushes India on easy-paced pitch

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2001, 23:13 [IST]
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Bangalore: Chasing 201 India crumbled for the second time against New Zealand this time not on a Lankan dust bowl on Thursday at the R Premadasa Stadium in the fifth match of the Coca Cola triangular series being played in Colombo.Needing 201 to post its first points, India got off to a shaky start losing two of its stars Ganguly and Laxman cheaply. Mills was the first to strike when he trapped Ganguly bang in front to have India five for one in the second over. Tuffey struck in the very next over to reduce India to nine for two. Laxman trying to force Tuffey through point only succeeded in playing him on to his stumps.India did have a couple of close shaves in the form of run outs but survived to strike the ball around and thereby stabilise things. Sehwag, in particular carting Mills for 12 runs in one over. The pair put on 46 runs in 12 overs to take India to 55 for two at the end of 14 overs.Then a piece of bad luck or may we say a smart piece of fielding had Sehwag walking back to the pavilion. Vettori in his follow through dived to his right picked up the ball and broke the stumps at the non-strikers end while Sehwag lunged back to regain his ground but slow motion replays showed Sehwag to be just out. India reduced to 59 for three in the 16th over. If that wasnt enough, Badani played himself into the hands of the Kiwis, when he tried to hit Vettori over mid-off; Criag McMillan running behind took a well judged catch over his shoulders to reduce India to 66 for four in the 18th over.India then got a little cautious trying to avoid further loss. Dravid and Yuvraj picking the New Zealand bowlers for two to three runs per over. After having assessed the conditions Yuvraj, then, opened up striking three boundaries in close succession. Then another piece of ill luck came Indias way when Dravid trying to play Oram of the hips found the ball hit his pads and trickle on to the stumps. This wicket dealt a body blow to Indias chances of making a recovery by reducing it to 99 for five and 10 runs later India was in real trouble at 109 for six when Yuvraj departed caught behind off Harris.In The very next over, Dighe going for a non-existent run put India deep down the hole at 112 for seven. Two runs later India was as good as gone with Sodhi walking back to the pavilion; the mode of dismissal.? Yet another run out!India at this stage was staring defeat in the eye at 114 for eight in the 34th over and the writing was on the wall.At 122 Harbhajan departed bowled off Harris and at 133 Nehra was clean bowled by Nash to have New Zealand remain second on the table with four points. Earlier, India bundled out New Zealand for 200 runs on a drying wicket. Having chosen to field on a wicket that held a little bit of dampness and moisture, India did not reap the desired results early on. The performance of the Indian new ball bowlers Khan and Nehra - in the first nine overs was a mixture of sorts. They bowled, Nehra in particular, some extremely good deliveries but they also gave some loose stuff. Zaheer Khan was totally off colour giving away too many loose deliveries, which resulted in easing away pressure created at the other end. Nehra bowled his heart out in the early part of the spell, he also accounted for the early dismissal of Astle. Nehra could have had his second victim if Sehwag would have held on to Sinclair at second slip. To make things worse for Nehra boundaries kept flowing through streaky shots or edges, apart from one or two loose deliveries that he bowled.As a result, the first nine overs yielded 55 runs on a wicket the Indians looked forward to bowling on. This brought about the first change skipper Ganguly bringing on his strike bowler Harbhajan as early as the 10th over. Harbhajan immediately stemmed the flow of runs by bowling a maiden. However, he struck only in fourth over no complaints, as you cannot expect a wicket first up every time which meant the Kiwis by then had progressed to 82 for one at the end of the 15th over as Harbhajan went for a few runs in his second and third overs (13).In his fourth over, he had Oram - who had so far struck with lan caught at slips trying to reverse sweep; Dravid bring off a diving catch. New Zealand at this stage was reduced to 85 for two. The Black Caps, however, were not complaining as Pinch hitter Oram had done his job posting 40 of just 37 deliveries. At this stage Ganguly brought himself on and did an excellent job. He choked the flow of runs, which induced the Kiwis to throw their bats at him and Sinclair (36 of 70 balls) obliged. Given the nature of the pitch and Gangulys accuracy, Sinclairs heave didnt fetch much expect present Dravid with a catching opportunity which he accepted by diving to his right at mid-wicket to pick up his second catch of the match. At the end of that over, Ganguly had figures of three overs one for five. He further enhanced his figures and Indias chances, when skipper McMillan (17 of 24), trying to break the shackles, ended up in the hands of Badani at mid-off. This wicket brought India right back into the match after the good start that New Zealand had put up. New Zealand at this stage was reduced to 110 for four at the end of the 25th over.Ganguly and Yuvraj then, in tandem, sustained the pressure on the New Zealanders, bowling a tight length and choking the Kiwis for runs. Very soon, Ganguly struck his third blow when Lou Vincent tried to go over the top, like his predecessors, only to fail yet again as he ended up getting caught at mid-off. New Zealand was now in dire straits at 125 for five. The Black Caps, then, went further down the hole when Parore- who clubbed the Sri Lanka spinners a day earlier played Yuvraj on to his stumps when he tried to cut a ball that was close to his body. New Zealand 126 for six in the 30th over.From then on it was always going to be a big ask of New Zealand and India didnt make things easy as it kept up a tight length and soon picked up another vital wicket. Harris trying to step out and heave Yuvraj square off the wicket, ended up offering yet another catch in the in-field, which Badani pouched to a nicety. New Zealand 143 for seven in the 36th over. Then came a nice little of partnership of 43 runs for the eighth wicket between Dion Nash and Vettori, which gave something for the Black Caps to work at. Vettori, however, perished trying to go for some runs at the end. He was declared leg before the wicket to Sehwag when he tried to execute a reverse sweep. New Zealand lost its remaining two wickets for the addition of 14 runs to be bowled out for 200 in the 47th over. New Zealand still had eight balls left- this being a 48-over match.

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