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Kohli anchors India to 4-wicket win over NZ, lead series 1-0

Press Trust of India  |  Dharamsala 

Virat Kohli held centrestage with a delightful unbeaten 85 after a collective bowling effort as cruised to an easy six-wicket victory over taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, here tonight.

After bowling out for 190 in 43.5 overs, reached the target in a mere 33.1 overs in a match that turned out to be thoroughly one-sided.

If debutant all-rounder Hardik Pandya (3/31) stole the limelight in the bowling department, it was another flawless effort from 'Chase Master' Kohli, whose 85-run knock came off 81 balls. He struck nine fours before effortlessly lofting Ish Sodhi for his only six to finish the match in style.

It was rearguard action from that saw them reach 190 after being down at 106 for 8.

If not for Tom Latham, who remained unbeaten on 79 and Tim Southee (55), New Zealand would have never imagined to reach near the 200-run mark.

Southee played the role of an aggressor and together with Latham stitched quickfire 71 runs off just 58 balls for the ninth wicket to give New Zealand bowlers something to bowl at.

But hardly had any problems in overwhelming the target with vice-captain Kohli again showing his supreme command in the 50-over format.

India got off to a brisk start in their pursuit for 191-run target with Rohit Sharma (14) and Ajinkya Rahane (33) adding 49 runs for the opening stand.

Rahane looked in ominous touch as he dealt in boundaries initially, hitting Doug Bracewell for two fours in the fourth over.

Rahane's was a short but sweet knock which had class written all over it. Of his two sixes, one was hit straight down the ground while the other was well lofted over covers.

Rohit struck the first six for India, top-edging Southee over fine-leg. Rahane followed suit and pulled Bracewell for two hits over fence in the next over - the first one over fine leg and next over deep square leg.

But Bracewell put an end to the partnership when he removed Rohit, trapping the batsman in front of the wicket with a full length delivery.

Rohit's departure brought Kohli at the middle and the vice-captain opened his score with a scorching drive to the cover boundary.

Rahane, who was going great guns, feel victim to a loose shot and poked a Jimmy Neesham delivery to Luke Ronchi and poked a Jimmy Neesham delivery to Luke Ronchi behind the wickets.

Kohli and Manish Pandey then added 40 runs for the 3rd wicket before the latter gave a simple catch to Kane Williamson inside the circle off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi

Kohli carried on from where he left in the Test series and hit Bracewell straight down the ground before cover unleashing a lethal drive to the cover boundary as India reached 118 for three in 21 overs.

As indicated on the eve of the match, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself to the No.5 position and together with Kohli shared 60 runs for the fourth wicket to take India closer to the target.


Joining hands in the 13th over, Root and Moeen powered England to 182 for three at tea.

Earlier, having opted to bat after winning the toss, the visitors lost skipper Alastair Cook (10) and Keaton Jennings (1) early, and recovered due to the partnership between Root and Moeen.

Root looked to be in good touch as he played some effective shots and, in the company of a solid Moeen, added 114 runs in the second session of play.

Thanks to the duo's effort, the session post lunch belonged to England, though they lost Root at a crucial juncture of play.

After a rather slow start, England also improved their scoring rate with Root and Moeen at the helm of affairs.

Bairstow looked classy in the few balls he has played before tea and while Root was caught behind after review, Bairstow survived as a DRS decision went in his favour just before tea.

The wicketkeeper then got into the act and smashed three sixes to signal his intention. However, he too got out to Jadeja while going for an drive.

Root was out to Jadeja while going for sweep and so thin was the edge that the batsman may not have felt it.

This was after England endured a testing first session to reach 68 for two at lunch.

At the lunch break, Root was unbeaten on 44, with Moeen giving the current England batting mainstay company on 7.

Seeking to restore some pride after being subjected to three successive crushing defeats at the hands of the hosts, England lost the wickets of Cook and Jennings with just 21 runs on the board.

Striking the early blows at the M A Chidambaram Stadium -- made battle-ready owing to some outstanding work by the groundstaff, including using burning coal to dry the pitch -- were comeback man Ishant Sharma and Jadeja, who was getting purchase from the surface.

Jennings, who signalled his arrival in the Test arena with a century and golden duck in his maiden game in Mumbai last week, was the first casualty as he he edged Sharma to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

The visitors were seven for one and it soon became 21 for two when Jadeja, the first slow bowler to be introduced into the attack, induced an edge from Cook for skipper Virat Kohli to take a low catch at first slip.

Jennings, while attempting to drive an over-pitched delivery, got a thick edge as India reaped the reward for maintaining discipline early on.

Cook, who got to the 11000-run landmark, once again fell to Jadeja who, in the previous over, created doubts in the beleaguered English skipper's minds with some that turned and some that did not.

The left-arm spinner then pushed one wide outside off and got a thick edge from the batsman whose horror tour against Jadeja continued.

Root and Ali then tried to steady the ship.

India are eyeing their biggest-ever Test series victory against England and stretch an unbeaten run to a record 18 matches.

First Published: Sun, October 16 2016. 20:23 IST