Chennai, Feb 16: Another fine performance from the Indian spinners triggered a protracted collapse by the Kiwis as they were bowled out for 243 in 43.1 overs, thus handing India a massive 117-run win. Spinners Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh each took two wickets with R Ashwin claiming one and speedster Ashish Nehra also ensnaring a couple.
The spinners had a stranglehold on the Kiwi batsmen halfway through their innings. Runs were hard to come by and the boundaries had parched up. After the visitors lost their fourth wicket for 141, Jesse Ryder was the next to go with the score on 147. Then Jamie How and Scott Styris took their side past 150, but the former couldn't hold out much longer and succumbed to the spin of Yuvraj Singh as the Kiwis crumbled to 173/6 in 31.4 overs.
Then the same bowler led to the undoing of Oram when he bowled a shortish ball, temping Oram out of his crease to leave the batsman stumped - quite literally. Oram was on his way for 12 and New Zealand were 197/7 in 37.3 overs. However, the Kiwis imediately crossed 200 thanks to 5 wides from Yuvraj.
But in the very next over, Chawla, who had been twice deprived of a second due to catches dropped by Munaf and Raina, finally got it when he bowled Stryris for 20. Then, Nehra was able to bring on some redemption when he bowled Woodcock for 9 with a spot-on yorker. New Zealand were 213/9 in 40 overs.
Nathan MCCullum tried to delay the inevitable by striking a few big biffs, but it was too little too late. Nehra delivered the knock-out punch when he bowled Mills a slower leg-cutter to end the Kiwis innings at 243.
At the half-way stage of the Kiwi innings in their World Cup warm-up match at Chennai, the visitors were had been pegged back by the Indian spinners to 141/4. Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin and Piyush Chawla each picked up a wicket while Brendon McCullum was run out for 58 off 54.
With no choice but to go after the bowling from early on, New Zealand's openers showed they were equal to the task. Martin Guptill smacked Ashish Nehra for a four in the first over, while McCullum did the same to Sreesanth in the second. Then in the following over, McCullum went after Nehra again, carting him away for two fours.
Boundaries came off the 4th, 5th and 6th overs as well as the Kiwis climbed to 43/0 in 6 overs. In the 8th over, Guptill lofted Sreesanth for a straight six to bring up New Zealand's 50. Then in the next over, Guptill came down heavily on Nehra, clobbering him for two more fours as New Zealand climbed to 66/0 in 9. Then first-change bowler Munaf Patel was welcomed to the crease by McCullum who got him away for a boundary.
In the 14th over, McCullum took a single off Yuvraj to bring up his 50. Then R Ashwin got the opening breakthrough when he got a delivery to turn and bounce, taking Guptill's top edge and popping up for a simple catch to Dhoni. The batsman was on his way for 38 off 45 as the Kiwis were 94/1 in 15 overs with the in-form Jesse Ryder coming to the crease.In the 17th over, McCullum took a single of Ashwin to bring up the Kiwis' 100.
A short while afterward, Ryder misjudged a single to get McCullum run out as the Kiwis slipped to 118/2 in 19.1 overs. Ross Taylor was struggling against the spin of Ashwin and Harbhajan and eventually succumbed to the latter, for 5 off 14 as New Zealand was now 140/3 in 24 overs. Then in the 25th over, Piyush Chawla trapped James Franklin in front for a duck as New Zeland slid to 141/4 in 24.3 overs.