India overcame a disastrous start to earn a hard fought 35-run win over New Zealand in the fifth ODI on Sunday to finish the series with a 4-1 scoreline in their favour, proving the heavy loss at Hamilton was an aberration. At 18 for four, India were heading towards another sub-100 total before Ambati Rayudu (90 off 113) and Vijay Shankar (45 off 64) forged a 98-run stand to ensure India ended with a fighting 252.
— ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2019
Hardik Pandya’s 45 off 22 balls also went a long way in India posting a challenging target and his two wickets later on showed why he is such an important member of the team.
New Zealand batsmen, including skipper Kane Williamson (39), squandered their starts in the chase but the home team remained in the contest until Jimmy Neesham (44 off 32) was dismissed in the 37th over.
Victory for India!
— ICC (@ICC) February 3, 2019
His freak run out, which was affected by the ever so sharp Mahendra Singh Dhonifrom behind the stumps, came after lbw appeal was turned down. New Zealand eventually ended with 217 in 44.1 overs despite Matt Henry’s unbeaten 17 off 9 in the final overs.
Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal took three timely wickets for India, conceding just 41 runs in 10 overs.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) February 3, 2019
Irrespective of the game’s outcome, Rayudu played one of the most significant knocks of his career and made a compelling claim for a World Cup spot.
At the toss, skipper Rohit Sharma called the eight wicket loss in the previous game ‘humiliating’ and embraced the challenge of batting on a testing surface by opting to bat.
With top-four falling cheaply, it looked Rohit’s brave call backfired but Rayudu and Shankar produced an innings-reviving stand under immense pressure.
Pacer Henry was the standout bowler for the hosts, taking four wickets for 35 runs while Trent Boult picked up three for 39.
After being bowled out for a paltry 92 in the fourth ODI, India had a point to prove.
The visiting team made three changes in the playing eleven. A fit again Dhoni was back in the team in place of Dinesh Karthik while Mohammad Shami and Shankar replaced Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav. The chinaman bowler was rested from the game.
The ball swung at the Westpac Stadium, like it did at Hamilton, and troubled the Indian batsmen, including the experienced opening pair of Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan.