India well on course for victory

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Published: Saturday, December 4, 2010, 15:05 [IST]
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India well on course for victory

Chasing 225, India are well on the way to inflict a thumping victory over New Zealand with Murali Vijay departing for 30, but Gambhir unbeaten on 87 off just 75 balls and Virat Kohli giving him adequate support with 16 not out as India's score moves to 140/0 in 25 overs with the run rate just under 6.

India got off to a blistering start, courtesy some splendidly timed fours from Gambhir's bat. Having hit a boundary off each of the first two overs, he knocked two consecutive fours of Mills in the fifth and India had raced to 36/0 in the first five overs.

But Gambhir was intent on taking full advantage of the second power play as well. In the 7th over, he went hammer and tongs after McKay, punishing him with three back-to-back fours. India were 53/0 in 7 overs. But Gambhir wasn't done with business. In the next over, he laid into Franklin, hitting for two consecutive boundaries.

Then in the 10th over, Vijay came to the party. He slapped Franklin for two more fours in successive balls and India were going at over 7 runs an over at 73/0 in the first 10 overs. A four followed almost in every over from then until in the 15th over, Vijay carted Daniel Vettori for a huge six over long on. India had crossed 100 in no time.

In the next over a chance to dismiss Vijay went a begging when the wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins dropped a tough catch off McCullum's bowling. But Vijay got his just desserts in the 19th over when he was run out, courtesy a good throw from Vettori at short third man. Indias were 115/1 in 18.4 overs. Then one-down batsman Virat Kohli joined Gambhir to keep up the momentum even though the run-rate had for the first time fallen below 6!

The two batted more cautiously from then on, taking India to 140/1 in 25 overs and well on course for what is projected to be a crushing victory. The New Zealand bowlers body language tells the whole story - their shoulders are slumped, their back slouched as they toil in vain to get another breakthrough and hopefully hinder India from its blistering chase.


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