New Zealand put up their worst batting show on the tour to pave way for an easy India win for a cleansweep 5-0 Series victory during the final ODI at Chennai. Batting first after winning the toss, the Kiwis were bundled out in just 27 overs for 103 on what turned out to be a turning pitch at Chepauk. India wobbled slightly in the chase to the two Kiwi spinners but chased the mediocre target comfortably in 21.1 overs to wrap up the match by the Supper Break! The paying public at the MA Chidambaram Stadium could only get to watch half a match because of the ordinary batting show from the visitors.
Both sides made a change each to their line-ups for this fifth ODI, India bringing in Munaf Patel for Zaheer Khan while the Kiwis got Grant Elliott in the place of Andy McKay. The visitors got off to a dismal start losing Guptill for a duck in the fourth ball of the match when he poked a Praveen Kumar outswinger to the keeper. Brendon McCullum departed in the 4th over itself when he shuffled far too back to a good length delivery from Nehra to get himself plumb infront. India was now on the attack with the Kiwis pegged back and they got rid of the highly talented Ross Taylor in the 6th over. It was Ashish Nehra providing this big wicket after Taylor gloved a pull shot down the legside to the keeper.
New Zealand were now forced to get into a shell at 28 for 3 in the 6th over. Opener Jamie How looking for a good score for himself got to 23 before he played all around an arm ball from Yuvraj Singh to get bowled in the 18th over. There was no looking back for India after this as the next six wickets fell for the addition of just 32 runs inside the next 10 overs! It was the spinners joining the party once Yuvraj cleaned up Jamie How. Off Spinner Ashwin got the wicket of Styris when he missed a full length carrom ball in a sweep shot to be lbw. Elliott was next to be lbw when he played along the wrong line to a Yuvraj Singh slider.
It was the turn of the third spinner – Yusuf Pathan to get amongst the wickets as he picked up Daniel Vettori (forced to edge a turning and bouncing ball from middle) and Nathan McCullum (wrongly given caught at slip in a sweep with the ball brushing the forearm) in the same over. Ashwin did the finishing job for the homeside removing Kyle Mills (spooned a half-hearted drive off a carrom ball to covers) and last man Tim Southee who got an inside edge to a jumping ball to short leg. The three spinners took a combined 7 wickets in just 13 overs giving away just the 40 runs!
New Zealand wasted no time once India came to bat for the target of 104 as it was the two spinners – Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori bowling with the new ball straightaway. There was plenty of turn and bounce for these two bowlers as well and the chase wasn’t going to be all that easy. Infact, New Zealand felt they had a chance to win the game when they picked up two wickets inside four overs. The first wicket was a lucky one with Gautam Gambhir wrongly given caught behind for a duck off Nathan McCullum in an attempted cut shot and this happened in only the third ball of the innings! The other batsman in rich form – Virat Kohli got an unplayable delivery from Vettori which turned and bounced sharply to force an edge off the backfoot around the middle stump!
It was 10 for 2 when Yuvraj Singh who is not known to play spin well joined Parthiv Patel. Both the left handers found the gaps on a regular basis and once Vettori decided for some reasons to bring on the seamers, it was just a cakewalk. The pacers couldn’t get anything off the pitch unlike the spinners and both the left handed batsmen cashed in big time. Parthiv Patel helped himself to a second ODI fifty of his career, the first one had come only in the last match at Bangalore! He remained unbeaten on 56 from 70 balls with 6 fours and a flat six over mid wicket. Yuvraj Singh got the Man of the Match award as he coupled his 2 for 5 with an unbeaten 42 from 46 balls (with 6 fours and 2 sixes). India’s Skipper for this Series – Gautam Gambhir was given the Man of the Series award.