India has a stranglehold on New Zealand as the latter struggle to keep wickets from falling and at the same time, keep their run rate from turning abysmally low. The Kiwis are currently going at a rate of just under 3, having lost seven wickets in the first 30 overs itself.
Zaheer, who is making a comeback after being out of contention due to a groin injury, made a dream start. He got another returning player Brendon McCullum, out for a golden duck in his first over itself. The fatal ball was an out-swinger which picked up an edge through to Murali Vijay at second slip.
Realising that the run-rate was already flagging in the fourth over, Guptill tried to shift gears by lofting Khan for a huge six. But just two balls later, nerves got to him and he was run out thanks to a sharp throw from Gambhir at mid on. New Zealand were in trouble at 19/2.
The new batsman Ross Taylor tried to revive the innings with Kane Williamson but they were both very slow mainly as a result of some tight bowling from Ashish Nehra and Zaheer. Finally Zaheer brought Taylor's misery to an end, getting him caught behind for 4 off 16 balls. The Kiwis were under immense pressure at 34/3 in 10.5 overs with Scott Styris surviving an lbw appeal in the next ball.
Williamson got a reprieve in the 15th over when some appalling fielding from Nehra and Ravindra Jadeja enabled him to make his ground while also picking up 5 overthrows. But that respite was short-lived for in the very next over, Munaf Patel got the batsman lbw for 21 off 50 balls. New Zealand were tottering at 49/4 in 15.2 overs. There was more trouble in store for the Kiwis as R Ashwin joined the party to take the wicket of Styris for 22 off 35 balls. The Black Caps middle order was in a process of collapse at 77/5 in 23 overs.
The Kiwi captain Daniel Vettori was the next to go when Yusuf Pathan got him caught by Yuvraj Singh at slip for 3 runs off 7 balls. The Indian onsalught continued with Yusuf striking again a couple of overs later to remove Hopkins for 6 off 6 balls. New Zealand were looking at the bottom of the barrel at 106/7 in 29.3 overs. It doesn't seem like the Kiwis can recover from this predicament.