Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NZ make it two in a row

Tim Southee of New Zealand celebrates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma of India during the One Day International match. Photo / Getty Images.
Tim Southee of New Zealand celebrates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma of India during the One Day International match. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand 271-7 (in 42 overs)
India 277-9 (chasing 297 to win)
NZ win by 15 runs via D-L method

Self-belief is becoming the New Zealand one-day cricket team's most prized asset. They held their nerve in the cauldron of Seddon Park last night to post consecutive victories over India, the world's No 1-ranked team.

The little-team-that-could had enough desire to repel the rampant visitors, who threatened deep into the 42-over rain-reduced match.

The hosts posted 271 for seven; the target was adjusted to 297 via the Duckworth-Lewis method. NZ won by 15 runs via the D-L method when the match was called off with three balls left as rain returned.

The required run rate rose past 10, 11 and 12-an-over but matches in this five-match series ain't over while Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni swing. Kohli made 78 off 65 balls and Dhoni 56 off 44 balls.

Sub-fielder Anton Devcich and Kane Williamson held the turning point catches. They're probably still shaking. Tim Southee's four dismissals - including three at the top
of the Indian order as part of figures of four for 72 - were defining moments. He became the 15th New Zealander to take 100 ODI wickets over the course of the match, finishing with 102.

Ajinkya Rahane (36) and Suresh Raina (35) continued the charge as the required rate threatened to haemorrhage. They took Kohli's advice from the previous match by judging length and committing more to their shots.

Catch of the day nets a cool $100k
Williamson Black Caps' vital anchor
Milne could be fit for World T20

"We controlled the run rate, which put pressure on their batsmen and the wickets followed,'' Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum said.

"We realise they are constructing the run chase around Kohli and Dhoni so it's important not to sit against them and take their wickets because it nullifies them. There's not many teams you have to scrap harder against, even when they're chasing 300.''

Dhoni wants to see better efforts from his openers.

"38 for two made it difficult for the middle order. They [the openers] probably should have carried on a bit longer to take some pressure off.

"We're also giving away too many easy boundaries on the first and last balls of overs.''

The New Zealanders are completing timely work on behalf of their administrators as they contend with the juggernaut axis of India-Australia-England dictating the sport's future in the International Cricket Council boardroom.

The win toppled India momentarily from a position they have held since January 2013 at the top of the world rankings while racking up valuable confidence and support as New Zealand prepares to co-host the World Cup next summer.

If Corey Anderson wasn't worth an Indian Premier League contract before this match, team owners must be circling now. In front of a packed Seddon Park crowd and cricket's biggest television audience, he savaged the Indian attack with 44 off 17 balls as New Zealand adapted to the rain-reduced status. The wicket of Dhoni didn't hurt either.

Anderson applied the Dr Who dalek mantra: 'Exterminate! Exterminate!' with the bat whether it was the pace of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami or the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, He came within 10m of equalling Sanath Jayasuriya's record quickest half-century off 17 balls when he was caught by Shikhar Dhawan at wide long-on. Anderson backed up his 68 off 40 balls in Napier and fastest ODI century off 36 balls against the West Indies in Queenstown.

Ross Taylor (57 off 56) looked pedestrian by comparison in a 74-run fourth-wicket partnership with Anderson from 28 balls. Taylor caressed; Anderson bludgeoned. Any life-form travelling in an arc from Anderson's bat to the deep mid-wicket boundary faced oblivion.

India initially applied New Zealand's plan of short-pitched bowling from the first match but the hosts proved up to the task.

Williamson anchored the innings with 77 off 87 balls. It was the 11th time he has passed 50 in 46 ODI innings. The theory parroted about him being solely a test player must cease. Textbook strokemaking doesn't make a slow scorer.

Shami again proved the most successful Indian bowler, taking three for 55 from seven overs.

SCOREBOARD

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 02 Sep 2014 18:49:42 Processing Time: 830ms