Napier: Indians were off to a flying start in the ODI series as they thrashed New Zealand by 53 runs( Duckworth Worth Lewis method) at MCLean Park in Napier on Tuesday.
In a match that was frequently interrupted by rain New Zealand was asked to chase a revised target of 216 in 28 overs. New Zealand lost 4 wickets in 5 balls to be reduced to 132/9 in 24.1 overs.
It was Harbhajan Singh who provided some fireworks in the end by capturing 3 wickets in 4 balls. The off-spinner first dismissed Martin Guptill went for the slog sweep but got the height not the distance as Gautam Gambhir took a fumbling catch. Next delivery, Neil Broom charged down the pitch, missed the straighter delivery and was stumped by Dhoni. Kyle Mills survived the hat-trick ball but edged the next delivery to first slip for Virender Sehwag to take the catch.
On the first delivery of the next over bowled by Zaheer Khan, Ian Butler edged to fine leg for Munaf Patel to take the catch.
The Kiwis lost their fourth wicket when Grant Elliott hit through the covers and went for two runs but was not fast enough to beat the throw from Virender Sehwag into the hands of Dhoni and was run out.
The only valiant stand from the hosts" end came from the willow of Martin Guptill, who cracked a fine fifty before being claimed by a wily Bhajji special at 64.
Earlier Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni led from front with a composed unbeaten 84 to power India to an imposing 273 for four in the rain-curtailed first cricket one-dayer against New Zealand at McClean park here on Wednesday. Under the Duckworth-Lewis system, New Zealand were set a revised target of 278 in 38 overs.
Virender Sehwag (77) and Suresh Raina (66) also slammed quick-fire half-centuries after India were sent in to bat.
India were gasping for runs in the rain-marred 38-over game at one stage and a total beyond 200 looked unlikely.
However, Raina rose to the challenge, slamming a 39-ball 66 and Dhoni remained at the crease till the end to finish off the innings in style.
The twosome posted a blistering 110 runs for the fourth wicket to give India the edge in the match.
The Indian players wore black armbands as a symbol of their support to the Sri Lankan team over the terrorist attack in Lahore.