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Sun stops play: India triumph as Kohli lauds bowlers, ‘dangerous’ Dhawan

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Play was briefly stopped because of the sun as India stormed to victory over New Zealand in Napier in the first of five ODIs.

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The umpires halted proceedings for around half an hour with the tourists on 44-1 in their pursuit of 158, after the setting sun was shining in the batsman’s eyes.

The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method trimmed India’s target to 156 from 49 overs, in what proved to be a comfortable chase. Shikhar Dhawan was unbeaten on 75 as India secured an eight-wicket victory to put them 1-0 up in the series.

Virat Kohli, who yesterday cleaned up at the ICC Awards, made 45.

Earlier, Mohammed Shami (3-19) and Kuldeep Yadav (4-39) were the pick of the bowlers, with the former dismissing both openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro to ensure India started brightly. Yuzvendra Chahal also picked up two scalps, as the spinners found plenty of reward in the middle overs.

“It was one of our more balanced performances,” the India skipper said after the game. “The way the guys bowled and created pressure, it changed everything.”

“The fast bowling group believe they can knock any opposition over. This is the fittest I’ve seen Shami ever. He knows he can get batsmen out.

Kuldeep Yadav during the first ODI between New Zealand and India at McLean Park

He also lauded his spin bowlers, as well as his explosive opening batsman: “The lines and lengths that Kuldeep and Chahal bowled were very difficult to get away. Dhawan is a dangerous player, and once he’s in the right headspace he’ll get in the flow again.”

New Zealand struggled for momentum throughout their innings. While skipper Kane Williamson notched 64, the rest of the batsmen struggled to exert their authority, with the in-form Ross Taylor the second-highest scorer with 24.

A disappointed Williamson added: “I think 250 would have been a par score. It was a lack of adjusting to the surface – we required a lot more graft. Their bowling attack did beautifully.”

The second ODI takes place on Saturday, January 26 in Tauranga.

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