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Gambhir, Dhoni power India to 360/5 vs NZ

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Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 18:27 [IST]
 
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Gambhir,Dhoni power India to 360/5 vs NZ

A blistering unbeaten 108 off 64 balls from Indian captain M S Dhoni took his side to a massive 360/5 in 50 overs against New Zealand in their warm-up match at Chepauk Stadium, Chennai. Also contributing heavily to the total was Gautam Gambhir who made 89 off 85 balls. New Zelkand's most expensive bowler was Kyle Mills, taking 1/81 in his 10 overs, while Jacob Oram had figures of 1/70 off 9 overs.

Soon after India crossed their innings' half-way point, Kohli brought up his half-century and celebrated it by striking a four off off-spinner Nathan McCullum. But three overs later, he was caught behind off Jacob Oram for 59 off 68 balls as India slipped to 147/3 in 29.2 overs.

Gambhir teamed up with Dhoni to each knock a four off Kyle Mills in the 35th over. Then in the following over Gambhir smashed two more boundaries off Jacob Oram. But he was not done with bludgeoning the attack. As India took the batting powerplay in the 36th over, he laid into Tim Southee, smashing him for three consecutive fours as India's score ticked over 200.

But Southee finally got his revenge in the 39th over, when he induced Gambhir into a thick top-edge which was gobbled up by the keeper. The batsman was on his way for 89 off 85 balls, but India were still looking strong at 216/4 in 38.4 overs. And Dhoni was intent on upping the scoring rate. In the 40th over, he hit McCullum for a four and then in the 41st, Styris, for a six as India scaled to 234/4.

Then in the 43rd over, Dhoni took Oram to the cleaners, clobbering him for 5 consecutive boundaries as India climbed to 263/4 in 43 overs. Dhoni had even brought up his half-century in the process. There was no stopping this wicket-keeper batsman who took 16 runs of McCullum in the 44th over. Then, Raina got into the act, smashing Oram for 3 sixes in the 45th over as India moved onto 298/4. The batsman brought up India's 300 with a four off Mills.

The batting duo took 13 runs off the 46th over and 178 of the 47th, before Raina notched his half-century of just 25 balls. But in the next ball Mills accounted for his wicket as the score read 340/5 in 48 overs.

In the final over of India's innings, Dhoni scampered a couple of doubles to reach his century off just 62 balls. Then he his third six and ran another two to take India to a mammoth 360/5 in 50 overs.

Winning the toss and opting to bat first, India got off to a steady and brisk start against New Zealand. While Virender Sehwag hit a four off Tim Southee in the second and fourth over, Sachin Tendulkar smacked Kyle Mills for a boundary in the third.

But the Little Master took his time to settle in, playing out a maiden in the 5th over.In the 7th over, Tendulkar glanced Southee to fine leg for four, but in the very next ball was bowled while going for an extravagant stroke. India were 35/1 in 7.3 overs with Gautam Gambhir the new man out in the middle.

But Sehwag kept the momentum going, taking a four off Mills in the next over. However, he didn't last very much longer, getting bowled by Jacob Oram in the 9th over for 23 off 30 balls. India were 42/2 in 9.1 overs with Virat Kohli replacing Segwag. In the 11th over, Gambhir took a single off Oram to bring up India's 50.

In the 12th over, Kohli cut loose, striking James Franklin for 2 fours as India climbed to63/2 in 13 overs. Kohli and Gambhir were content mainly picking the ones and twos as they consolidated. Then in the 22nd over, Kohli smashed spinner Luke Woodcock for a four to bring up India's 100. Two overs later, Gambhit and Kohli teamed up to take two fours off the same bowler. At the end of 25 overs, India were cruising at 12/2.

Oneindia Cricket

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