Cricket – World Cup 2019 warm-up: India lose to New Zealand after star batsmen flop


MAY 25, 2019

Brief Scorecard: New Zealand 180 for 4 (Taylor 71, Williamson 67) beat India 179 (Jadeja 54, Boult 4 for 33, Neesham 3 for 26) by six wickets

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – New Zealand followed up an excellent display of fast bowling with a patient chase of the modest 180-run target set by India to win the World Cup warm-up game against India. While Trent Boult picked up 4 wickets to break India’s back, skipper Kane Williamson (67) and Ross Taylor (71) almost completed the chase without a fuss to send a stern warning to one of the tournament’s favourites.

But the start of the Kiwi chase didn’t go according to plan. In his very first over, Jasprit Bumrah removed Colin Munro (4) with a searing yorker on the foot and in the 10th, Martin Guptill’s (22) attempt to launch Hardik Pandya out of the park only managed to find a running KL Rahul at the edge of the 30-yard circle.

The early hiccups aside, Taylor and Williamson went about the task with ease, punishing the bad balls as the required run-rate was never a problem for their side. While Willaimson got to his fifty first, Taylor, who was the more aggressive of the two, followed soon after.

India captain Virat Kohli tried a number of bowlers including his favourite spin weapons of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, but none of them could create the elusive breakthrough. But just as New Zealand were close to the target, Williamson fell while trying to hit a spinning delivery from Chahal towards the leg-side, managing a top edge into the safe hands of Rohit Sharma at point, thus bringing the 114-run partnership to an end.

New batsman Henry Nicholls and Taylor brought NZ to within one run of the victory before Kuldeep Yadav managed to induce a false shot from Taylor having him caught at short extra-cover. NZ finally completed the chase with 77 balls to spare!

Earlier, Boult grabbed 4 for 26 in 6.2 overs as Ravindra Jadeja’s half-century ensured a 175-plus score for the ‘Men In Blue’ after being reduced to 115 for 8 at one stage.

Jadeja’s 62-run ninth-wicket stand with Kuldeep Yadav (19) was the only saving grace for India in an otherwise disappointing batting performance.

It was Boult’s first spell where he removed openers Rohit Sharma (2) and Shikhar Dhawan along with No 4 KL Rahul (6) that proved to be decisive in overcast conditions.

The lack of footwork was evident as Boult trapped Rohit with a delivery that darted in while Dhawan had an inside edge to a delivery that had a shade more bounce. Rahul was played on when Boult got one to rear up.

Skipper Virat Kohli (18 off 24 balls) found his defence breached by Colin de Grandhomme’s off-cutter trying to play across the line.

Hardik Pandya (30 off 37 balls) added 38 runs with Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the fifth wicket.

Dhoni’s (17 off 42 balls) painful stay at the crease was cut short by Tim Southee when he was caught at short mid-wicket trying to give the bowler charge.

Dhoni, who takes time to settle down, not for once looked comfortable and failed to rotate the strike during the partnership.

It was Jimmy Neesham (3/26 in 3 overs), who dismissed Hardik with a cross-seam delivery that moved a shade inducing an outside edge.

Hardik was promoted ahead of Dhoni in adverse conditions and he showed positive intent with six boundaries.

Courtesy: India Today