A middle order batting collapse saw India losing the crucial fourth encounter of the 5-match series in Ranchi. With two all, the stage is now set for the final match at Visakhapatnam to decide the winner of the hard fought series. New Zealand side, which was seen hapless in the recently concluded Test series, seemed to have got their act together to win the second match of the tour. India got off to a horrible start as Rohit Sharma’s poor form in the series continued. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane then put up a 79 run partnership and India were cruising at one stage. But, leg spinner Sodhi got the prize wicket of Kohli. Captain cool Dhoni, who promoted himself at number 4 in the batting order in last match, failed to repeat the heroic of Mohali as the middle order batting collapse began. Rahane managed to score a decent 57. In the end, Dhawal Kulkarni fought valiantly with a pacy 25 not out but it proved to be a futile one. Earlier, On a slow wicket, it was a crucial toss to win for the visitor and skipper K Williamson decided to bat first. Riding on opener Guptill’s stylish 72, New Zealand posted 260 for the loss of 7 wickets.
The last ODI saw Indian captain come to bat up at number 4 and score a good 80 to take India closer to victory. He crossed the milestone of scoring 9,000 runs in ODIs on the way and became the only player to do so with an average of more than 50. Vice-Captain Virat Kohli had led the batting with a magnificent 150 to seal off the match. Dhoni is expected to stay true to the winning team and not shuffle too much. His ability to understand the game and set the pace of the match at no 4 perfectly compliments Kohli’s attacking style and together both can build a strong base from which a good total can be scored or chased.
Indian seamers too, look in good touch. Umesh Yadav has been the spearhead of the bowling attack and has been aptly supported by Hardik Pandya, Pandya, since making his debut in this series has been quite impressive; both with his pace and consistency. Kedar Jadhav though has been the biggest surprise for India, this Diwali. Jadhav has developed a knack of picking up crucial wickets from the NZ middle order, rendering them toothless. Although, India still needs to look at its problem of dealing with the tail.
NZ, on the other hand, needs to learn from its mistakes. The Kiwi middle order has been struggling to last till the final powerplay, leaving too much for the tail to bear. If NZ has to win, their middle order has to perform and stay until the end.
Martin Guptill and Tom Latham, opening the batting for NZ have maintained a good run rate so far. Guptill especially has been on the offensive ever since p=he played that maiden over from Umesh Yadav. It can be argued that he is not connecting well and this phrase might just be dumb luck. But when Guptill scored a record 237 in the World Cup, he started the same way. India needs to get this man, before he gets his eye in.
Yadav, the last man to go. Dhawal Kulkarni kept the hope alive with the gritty knock of 25. But it was too little the to late.
UT Yadav c Taylor b Boult 7 (12b 0x4 0x6) SR: 58.33
India require another 35 runs with 1 wicket and 24 balls remaining
India require another 42 runs with 1 wicket and 30 balls remaining
India require another 54 runs with 1 wicket and 44 balls remaining
AR Patel b Boult 38 (40b 3×4 1×6) SR: 95.00
A Mishra run out 14 (17b 1×4 0x6) SR: 82.35
India require another 85 runs with 3 wickets and 12.0 overs remaining.
HH Pandya c Latham b Santner 9 (13b 0x4 0x6) SR: 69.23
India require another 100 runs with 4 wickets and 15.0 overs remaining. Looks like a difficult one unless we have a dramatic ending.
India require another 102 runs with 4 wickets and 16.0 overs remaining
It will take something extraordinary from Patel and Pandya to turn the things around. Tough chase ahead.
India require another 104 runs with 4 wickets and 17.0 overs remaining
Consecutive wickets. This time Jadav. Southee is on fire.
KM Jadhav lbw b Southee 0 (1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00
India lost a crucial wicket in form of Pandey and that too in a critical juncture of the match. New Zealand has seen the fissure in Indian batting line-up and their bowlers are exposing it on a slow wicket here in Ranchi.
MK Pandey c Latham b Southee 12 (12b 2×4 0x6) SR: 100.00
India require another 107 runs with 5 wickets and 17.5 overs remaining.
India require another 121 runs with 6 wickets and 20.0 overs remaining. Two young players Manish Pandey and Axar Patel have to build a partnership and they need to keep an eye on the asking rate also.
India require another 126 runs with 6 wickets and 20.4 overs remaining.
Neesham does the trick again. Dhoni is out. India is in deep trouble now.
India require another 126 runs with 7 wickets and 21 overs remaining. Dhoni needs to play a captain’s knock.
India require another 133 runs with 7 wickets and 22.2 overs remaining.
Rahane lbw b Neesham 57 (70b 5×4 1×6) SR: 81.42
Fifty for Rahane, sedate one but a quality knock.
India require another 146 runs with 8 wickets and 26.0 overs remaining to win the series. Both skipper M S Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane are building a much needed partnership after Virat Kohli got out on 45.
New Zealand finish their innings at 260 for the loss of 7 wickets
49.6 overs: FOUR! Southee comes into the act. It was full and on the leg and SOuthee slogs it between mid on and square leg for a four.
47.6 overs: OUT! Anton Devich is gone; caught by Hardik Pandya. That was a slow ball. It looked like he was trying to hit it over the 30 yard circle, finds Pandya on the edge of it. Easy catch.
A Devcich c Pandya b Yadav 11 (11b 0x4 0x6) SR: 100.00
New Zealand is looking to end this on a good note. With only 3 overs left, they will be looking to get as many as possible. The pitch has slowed down. India will be facing an uphill task if the Kiwis mange 3-40 more runs in the remaining overs.
46.5 overs: FOUR! Anton Devich takes on Dhawal Kulkarni, hits it over wide mid on, finds the gap. Four more!
45.3 overs: OUT! Unnecessary risk taken by Taylor. Was looking set. Dhwal Kulkarni gives apoor throw, but Dhoni collects it infront of the stumps and deflects it. Smart, Smart Dhoni. This is Dhoni’s wicket.
R Taylor run out 34 (58b 1×4 0x6) SR: 58.62
44.3 overs: OUT! BJ Watling tries to swing it on the leg but manages to find Rohit Sharma at Fine leg. Dhwala Kulkarni strikes
B Watling c Sharma b Kulkarni 14 (21b 1×4 0x6) SR: 66.66
At the end of 40 overs, NZ is at 199 for the loss of 4 wickets.
37.6 overs: OUT! Neesham plays it on the rise; attempts to slap it through covers.Kohli takes a good catch.
J Neesham c Kohli b Mishra 6 (9b 1×4 0x6) SR: 66.66
37.2 overs: FOUR! Jimmy Neesham picks it over the bowler’s head for 4 runs. Good positive shot.
35.2 overs: OUT! Williamson is gone. That was a faster one from Amit Mishra. Wide of the off stump; Williamson tries to cut, fails to get under the bounce, edges it to Dhoni.
K Williamson c Dhoni b Mishra 41 (59b 4×4 0x6) SR: 69.49
Williamson and Taylor are building a good partnership here. They are taking their time to set and picking up quick singles with the occasional boundaries. The key is to not lose too many wickets.
At the end of 30 overs, NZ is at 149 for the loss of 2 wickets.
25.1 overs: OUT! Guptill is gone! Outside edge, taken comfortably by Dhoni. Fine innings on a difficult pitch. Unlucky to miss out on a deserving century
M Guptill c †Dhoni b Pandya 72 (84b 12×4 0x6) SR: 85.71
15.3 overs: OUT! Axar Patel strikes! NZ lose Tom Latham. Latham tries to sweep one from outside off, pops it off to short fine leg! Good catch.
T Latham C Rahane b Patel 39 (40b 4×4 0x6) SR: 97.500-24-0
At the end of 10 overs, NZ 80/0
8.5 overs: FOUR! That was a little short, no room though, Guptill sways away, hits it through 3rd slip for four! Brilliant shot!
7.5 overs: FOUR! Kulkarni goes back of length and Latham punches it through covers. Beautiful shot.
6.4: Dropped! Touch catch. Guptill tried going areal again but mistimes it to mid on. Amit Mishra dives to his left, gets hands to it but could not latch on. Saved a few runs for the team though. That was a certain boundary.
At the end of 5 overs,NZ are at 42 for the loss of 0 wickets
Tom Latham 12 (10b 2×4 0x6) Umesh Yadav 3-1-16-0
Martin Guptill 27 (20b 5×4 0x6) Dhawal Kulkarni 2-0-24-0
4.1 overs: FOUR! Gutill hits this over the top of mid-off. Hits the toe end of the bat again.
3.5 overs: FOUR! Overpitched again and Latham repeats himself. Driven through the covers for four
3.1 overs: FOUR! Tom Latham joins the party. That was overpitched and inform Latham simply puts it through covers.
2.6 overs: FOUR! Intentional but it did not go where it Guptill wanted. Short outside off and Guptill slashes, manages to get the face of the bat and races past the slips
Guptill is taking his chances. Plays off the first few deliveries with caution.
2.5 overs: That was a close one. Ball kept low and Guptill gets the toe end of the bat, hits it just over Amit Mishra.
Umesh Yadav continues
At the end of 2 overs, NZ 16 for no loss
Guptill seems to have warmed up to Kulkarni. 3 boundaries in the over! Poor bowling.
1.2 overs: Four! Dhawal Kukarni was taken on by Guptill, who drives him over mid on for a fur!
At the end of 1 over, NZ 0/0
Yadav managed to get some swing off the air and trouble Martin Guptill. Guptill plays safe and its a maiden over.
Umesh Yadav opens the bowling for India
1:10 pm: New Zealand wins the toss and elects to bat