x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Virat Kohli, India fall short of chase in second one-day loss to New Zealand

The Black Caps took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, winning by 15 runs on Wednesday. 'Even somebody like Virat (Kohli), who is in tremendous form, found it quite difficult to consistently hit,' said MS Dhoni.

Tim Southee, right, took four wickets for 72 runs for New Zealand on Wednesday. Ross Setford / AP / SNPA
Tim Southee, right, took four wickets for 72 runs for New Zealand on Wednesday. Ross Setford / AP / SNPA

HAMILTON, New Zealand // New Zealand beat India by 15 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method in the rain-shortened second one-day cricket international on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Tim Southee claimed four wickets, including the critical one of Virat Kohli for 78.

Kane Williamson top-scored with 77 as New Zealand made 271 for 7 batting first in a match reduced to 42 overs per side, and India, set a revised target of 293, was held to 277 for 9 in reply.

The second international mirrored the first as New Zealand reached a competitive total after being sent in and India’s chance of winning seemed strong until Kohli fell at a crucial stage.

India’s second straight loss meant it forfeit the No 1 ranking in ODIs to Australia.

Kohli made 123 in the first match on Sunday when New Zealand won by 24 runs. He was pivotal again and the match tipped substantially in the home team’s favour when Southee grabbed his wicket in the 30th over with India still needing 129.

After Kohli was dismissed in the first over of the batting powerplay, India’s hopes fell on the shoulders of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He made 56 including a half century from 42 balls which was completed with a six off Southee.

But when he was out in the 40th over, skying a catch to Williamson off Corey Anderson, India still needed 40 runs from 17 balls, a task that seemed beyond their remaining batsmen.

Anderson dismissed both Ravindra Jadeja (12) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (11) to add three wickets to his rapid-fire 44, which was a key contribution to New Zealand’s total.

India needed 81 off the last seven overs, and 50 from the last 24 balls. But when Dhoni fell, their winning target became oppressive and they wilted under its weight.

They still needed 22 from the last over but the rain which spoiled the match when it delayed play for almost two hours during the New Zealand innings, returned with three balls remaining, when stumps was called.

“I think when the New Zealand team was bowling there was a bit extra in the wicket and it was nipping around,” Dhoni said. “As the game progressed, even when the fast bowlers were bowling, it was not coming on nicely which meant it became quite difficult to freely play the big strokes.

“Even somebody like Virat, who is in tremendous form, found it quite difficult to consistently hit.”

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum welcomed a performance which saw his team take another step towards the consistency they have been seeking.

“With the bat it was a good performance to get that size total,” he said. “In a reduced game against such a good batting lineup as India’s we knew we needed all of those runs.

“It was a tremendous game of cricket and it was great to be on the right side of it.

“The batting of Kane (Williamson), Ross (Taylor) and Martin (Guptill) was critical in giving us a good platform to work from and then Corey (Anderson) came in and showed again how much he is learning at this level and what a dangerous player he is.”

Anderson slugged five sixes in an innings of 44 from 17 balls to give New Zealand a crucial boost late in their innings.

Williamson steered the innings through the crucial middle overs, reaching a half century from 52 balls and putting on 89 for the second wicket with Guptill and 60 for the third with Taylor.

Taylor, who made 57 for his 26th half century in one-dayers, joined Anderson in a late onslaught in which they added 74 runs for the fourth wicket in 4.4 overs.

New Zealand’s innings was twice interrupted by rain: For only 10 minutes on the first occasion but then for almost two hours from the 34th over when it was 170 for 2. It returned with eight overs trimmed from their allocation but coped well, striking 101 for 5 in 8.4 overs.

The Kiwis were 248 for 4 when Anderson was out in the 39th over, then lost five wickets for four runs.

Mohammed Shami produced another outstanding display of bowling at the death, claiming the late wickets of Taylor and Brendon McCullum (0) to finish with 3 for 55 from seven overs.

The third match is on Saturday at Auckland.