Latham, Williamson power NZ to win against India

Umran starts ODI debut with 2 wkts


Indian bowlers crumbled in the face of Tom Latham’s counter-attacking hundred as New Zealand rallied to crush India by seven wickets in the first ODI here on Friday.
On a ground where a 300-plus total had been chased only once, India fancied their chances after posting 306 for seven and then leaving the New Zealanders at 88 for three in the 20th over.
The hosts had the last laugh in the end though, reaching the target with 17 balls to spare thanks to Latham’s unbeaten 104-ball 145 and skipper Kane Williamson’s 94 not out off 98 deliveries as they added 221 runs for an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership.
At the end of the 39th over, New Zealand needed 91 in 66 balls at nearly 8.30 runs an over.
By the time Shardul Thakur (1/63) had completed a forgettable 40th over, the hosts were in total control of the game, with Latham amassing 25 runs with the help of four fours and a six.
That over swung the match firmly in New Zealand’s favour as the visitors struggled to contain Latham who galloped towards victory.
Latham’s belligerent innings comprised as many as 19 boundaries and five sixes, while Williamson hit seven fours and one maximum.
Tearaway pacer Umran Malik (2/66) made his presence felt on debut with his thunderbolts after an impressive show by the Indian batters, though the youngster from Jammu proved to be expensive.
Coming off a first-ball duck, Shreyas Iyer found form with a neat half-century before Washington Sundar blazed away to a 16-ball 37 to guide India to a competitive total.
Besides Iyer’s 76-ball 80, Shikhar Dhawan (72 off 77 balls) and Shubman Gill (50 off 65), too, struck fluent fifties after the tourists were sent in to bat.
Umran bagged his maiden ODI wicket when Devon Conway went for an expansive drive off a quick delivery, only to get an outside edge for Rishabh Pant to complete an easy catch.
Daryl Mitchell became Umran’s second victim when he slashed one towards deep point. That wasn’t one the best of deliveries bowled by him on the day but the pressure he generated with his earing pace certainly helped him in getting the wicket.
However, Williamson and Latham rallied to lift the Kiwis to victory with a big partnership, leaving the Indians stunned.
Earlier, Sundar smashed three sixes and as many fours to prop up India at the death, while Iyer hit four maximums and four boundaries, having entered the game after his duck in the final T20 International two days ago. (PTI)