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NZ convert so-so start to make 258/8

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Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 18:18 [IST]
 
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NZ convert so-so start to make 258/8

New Zealand converted an ordinary start and built up momentum in the latter overs, courtesy substantial innings from Martin Guptill, Scott Styris and Daniel Vettori, before a late surge from the tail took their side to a respectable 258/8 in fifty overs. India's bowling was not particularly tight, though Sreesanth got 4 wickets, and the fielding left much to be desired. India won the toss, putting the tourists in to bat. New Zealand got off to a belligerent start with Martin Guptill smashing Nehra for two fours in the first over.

Jamie How tried to emulate his partner's aggression, getting Sreesanth away for a four in his first over. But the bowler returned in the 4th over to get How caught behind for 5. The Kiwis were looking unsteady at 14/1.

Williamson and Guptill set about the task of rebuilding and the former's batting took on an aggressive tone when he smacked Nehra for two more fours in the 9th over. In the 13th over, Guptill survived a run-out chance. But a couple of overs later, Williamson wasn't so fortunate and perished to a clean-bowled from Munaf Patel for a watchful 29 off 46 balls. The Kiwis were in a spot of bother at 64/2 in 16.1 overs.

The new batsmen Ross Taylor survived after R Ashwin was not able to latch on to a catch at deep square leg of Patel. The batsman tried to up the flagging run-rate with a powerful six off Yuvraj in the next over. But he didn't lasy much longer as Pathan had him caught by Kohli at deep mid-wicket. New Zealand was deeper in trouble at 96/3 in 24.1 overs.

Then Guptill and the next man to take guard Scott Styris, tried to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but only with partial success. In the 30th over, the batsmen went after Yusuf Pathan, hitting him for a six and a four. Then they knocked 15 runs off a Yuvraj over, taking the score to over 150. But Ashwin returned in the 37th over to remove Guptill who had held the innings

together with his fighting 70 off 102 balls. The Kiwis were looking precarious at 161/4 in 36.4 overs when captain Daniel Vettori came to the crease. Vettori and Styris set the platform for a late surge. In the 41st over, the batting pair took Yuvraj for 11 runs and moved to within sight of 200.

The tourists crossed the landmark in the 42nd over with a couple of fours coming off Vettori's bat. In the meantime, Styris had notched up his 50 in run-a-ball time. Then Styris went after Ashwin, carting him for a huge six over midwicket.

But Sreesanth returned in a strong way removing Styris for 59 off 56 balls and Vettori for 31 off 32 balls, in successive deliveries. New Zealand were wobbling at 219/6 in 45.2 overs. The tide once again turned New Zealand's way, with Nathan McCullum and Gareth Hopkins rebuilding some momentum before McCullum was run out 12 with the score 244/7 in 49 overs. Then Kyle Mills biffed a couple of big blows, including a six, off Sreesanth, before perishing to him in the penultimate ball. New Zealand had done well on the whole to reach the competitive score of 258/8.

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