Wednesday, December 1, 2010

INDIA VS NEWZELAND 2nd ODI: Gambhirs blistering performance leads to a easy win over the kiwis

S Sreesanth's inspired spell at the death helped India restrict NZ to 258/8 after Scott Styris and Martin Guptill notched up contrasting half centuries in the second ODI here on Wednesday.

Opting to field after the coin landed in his favour, the Gautam Gambhir-led India rode on S Sreesanth's four wickets to restrict the Kiwis to a manageable target after Styris and Daniel Vettori threatened to take the match away from India with a swashbuckling half-century stand at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here.

Sreesanth's wickets included opener Jamie How, Styris, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills. Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan and Ravichandran Ashwin took a wicket each even as opener Martin Guptill played the sheet-anchor's role to perfection.

The Kiwi was given out in controversial circumstances when he fell caught behind to Ashwin after making a painstaking fifty. His innings was laced with three boundaries and a lofted six off Pathan over midwicket.

Styris and Vettori took over after Guptill's dismissal.

Styris powered his way to a breezy 59 off 56 balls with the help of five fours and a huge six, while Vettori contributed 31 off 32, an innings that included four hits to the fence.

Sreesanth, however, had other ideas and struck when India needed him the most, removing dangerman Styris and Kiwi skipper Vettori off successive balls. Nathan McCullum survived the hat-trick ball.

Often perceived to be profligate with the new as well as the old ball in the shorter format of the game, thanks to his high economy rate, Sreesanth on Wednesday bowled much better, hardly straying in line and length.

It was no surprise to see the Kerala bowler give India the first breakthrough, in the form of Jamie How's wicket. It was a fullish delivery just outside off that moved away late on landing. How went for a drive but only managed to get an edge and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha did the rest.

The temperamental pacer not only used his stock ball - the out-swinger that moves away late from a good length - to good effect but also brought the batsmen forward without bowling half volleys and the occasional incoming deliveries kept the Kiwis on their toes.

First-change Munaf, coming in for the mediocre Ashish Nehra, impressed immediately, posing some serious questions to Guptill and Williamson. Maintaining a good line and length instead of bowling flat out, Munaf was rewarded for his discretion when he went through the gate of Williamson in his fourth over.

The young Kiwi was just shaping up to play a good innings when Munaf got one to swing in slightly from a good length that clipped the bail on the off-stump.

Munaf could have had another in his bag, when Ross Taylor attempted an extravagant shot off the bowler, but Ravichandran Ashwin, positioned in the region between deep square-leg and deep mid-wicket, dropped a sitter to deny the bowler what should have been a well-deserved wicket.

That miss, however, didn't turn out to be a costly one as Yusuf Pathan flummoxed Taylor with the first ball of his spell.

Taylor, who top-scored for the visitors in their 40-run defeat in the first match in Guwahati, went for a slog-sweep to a delivery that pitched over midwicket, but could not clear the waiting hands of Virat Kohli.

Ashish Nehra, on the other hand, was nowhere close to his best in his first spell, though he managed to hit the pads a few times. When he pitched the ball short, Kane Williamson was equal to the task pulling him over square for a boundary, his first scoring shot during his brief but impressive innings.

The over-pitched ones were either driven through the cover or straight down the ground while the length balls were punched through the cover-point region by the Guptill and Williamson.

Nehra was brought back in the 38th over of the Kiwi innings, immediately after Guptill's dismissal, but he hardly looked threatening.

No comments: