Related Links : India Tour of New Zealand 2013/14 – ANZ ODI Series Schedule | NZ Vs Ind, 4th ODI at Hamilton
New Zealand sealed the 5-match ANZ ODI Series against India with an unassailable lead of 3-0 after a cakewalk win in the Fourth ODI today at Hamilton. It was a high-scoring game once again with the Kiwis easing to a 7-wicket win with 12 balls remaining chasing a target of 279.
It was the fourth time in a row that MS Dhoni had won the toss and for the first time he opted to bowl first. There was a new look to the Indian team with the inclusion of Ambati Rayudu along with debutant Karnataka all-rounder Stuart Binny. Opener Shikhar Dhawan and middle order bat Suresh Raina were dropped. The Kiwis made a couple of changes resting its key players Corey J Anderson and Mitchell McClenaghan. The replacements for the duo were the talented all-rounder James Neesham and Kyle Mills.
The Seddon Park pitch looked to be bouncy with some pace and that quickly undid India’s new opener Virat Kohli and no.3 Ajinkya Rahane. The two younsters were bounced out playing weak pull shots to Tim Southee and Kyle Mills respectively. India was going nowhere at 22 for 2 in the 9th over when AT Rayudu joined Rohit Sharma. The visitors would have lost their third wicket too but Rohit Sharma was dropped at slip. The Kiwis failed in making further inroads while conceding a solid partnership of 79 runs for the third wicket.
AT Rayudu perished to a short ball as well having worked hard to score 37 from 58 balls. Rohit Sharma missed out on a century when he was caught down the legside to the innocuous off-breaks of Kane Williamson. The 26-year-old Rohit Sharma scored 79 from 94 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes. At the time of his dismissal, India was in a soup at 142 for 5 in the 33rd over and soon were 151 for 5 when R Ashwin got out cutting a short ball to deep point.
Thanks to a superb partnership between Skipper MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, India pulled off a smashing finish at 278 for 5. MS Dhoni played a Captain’s knock of 79 not out from 73 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes. Ravindra Jadeja followed his heroic fifty at Auckland with an unbeaten 62 from 54 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes.
The run chase for the Kiwis was made very easy by the flurry of boundaries collected by openers Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill. Varun Aaron provided the breather for India when Jesse Ryder was bowled off an inside edge with New Zealand at 54 for 1 in the 8th over. In five balls time, Mohammad Shami with a skiddy inswinger trapped Martin Guptill lbw for a 27-ball 35. MS Dhoni managed to strangle the Kiwis after that using his spinners Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. There was some turn as well for the spinners but they were up against quality batsmen in Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
Kane Williamson batted well again with an innings of 60 from 82 balls to set up the base for the run chase. After adding 130 runs with Taylor, Williamson got run out to a direct throw from Ravindra Jadeja off his own bowling. Skipper Brendon McCullum joined Ross Taylor to take the Kiwis home from a tricky situation of 91 from 86 balls.
For his 9th ODI century, the 29-year-old Ross Taylor collected the Man of the Match award. He scored 112 not out from 127 balls with 15 fours. Brendon McCullum smashed 49 not out from 36 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes. The three pacers for India had a bad day. Varun Aaron was taken for 51 runs in 6.1 overs to go along with his sloppy fielding that leaked atleast two boundaries. Debutant Stuart Binny was used for just the 1 over by MS Dhoni which went for 8 runs. The two spinners R Ashwin with 10-0-41-0 and Ravindra Jadeja with 10-2-33-0 did a top job but they lacked the ability to take wickets.