Wellington, Feb 3 (IANS) A disciplined batting effort from Ambati Rayudu (90) supported by Vijay Shankar (45) and late order heroics by all-rounder Hardik Pandya helped India post 252/10 against New Zealand in the fifth and final One Day International match here on Sunday.
After losing four quick wickets for just 18 runs, Rayudu, Shankar and Kedar Jadhav (34) stabilised the Indian innings and then Pandya made a quickfire 45 in 22 balls towards the end and helped India to post a decent score
New Zealand’s Matt Henry scalped four wickets while Trent Boult took three.
Opting to bat, India got off to a poor start as opener Rohit Sharma (2) was the first one to get dismissed with just eight runs on the board. Pacer Matt Henry clean bowled the Mumbai batsman in the 4.1 overs.
In the very next over, opener Shikhar Dhawan (6) was sent packing by Boult in five and half overs. Dhawan played 13 balls and hit one boundary.
Shubman Gill (7), who made is debut in the last match, failed to impress second time as Henry once again came in the picture and dismissed the promising batsmen in the seventh over.
With three wickets in back to back overs, it was now on wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rayudu.
Despite the regular fall of wickets, Rayudu was playing senisibly at the other end but lack of support hampered India’s scoring rate.
Dhoni (1), who missed the last ODI due to hamstring injury, only faced six balls and got dismissed by Boult to make scoreboard read 18/4 in nine overs.
The fall of Dhoni’s wicket brought in Shankar, who with Rayudu played sensibly and forged a crucial 98-run stand for the fifth wicket to stabilise the innings.
They played some beautifully crafted shots all around the park but just when things seemed good in the middle, Shankar got run out. He played 64 balls and slammed our boundaries before getting out in the 32nd over.
New batsman Kedar Jadhav (34) then joined Rayudu in the middle and the pair stitched 74-run stand and helped India reach close to 200-run mark.
But At 190, in-form Rayudu sent back to the pavilion by Henry. He was caught by Munro at sweeper cover. Rayudu played 113 balls and hit eight boundaries and four sixes.
After adding 13 runs to the total, Jadhav was also dismissed by Henry. New batsman Pandya then came in the middle and hammered New Zealand bowlers all around the park. He was hitting boundaries and sixes at will.
The Baroda all-rounder slammed two boundaries and five sixes in his stay, which was cut short by James Neesham.
Tail-ender batsmen Bhuvneshwar Kumar (6), Mohammad Shami (1) then tried to make quick runs but were failed and dismissed cheaply. Yuzvendra Chahal remained unbeaten.
Brief scores: India: 252/10 (Ambati Rayudu 90; Hardik Pandya 45; Matt Henry 4/35) against New Zealand.