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Cricket: Black Caps trounced by India by 190 runs in ODI decider

A New Zealand batting shambles has seen the national cricket side capitulate by 190 runs to India in their one-day international series decider in Visakhapatnam.

Any local fan who took the time to set the alarm for the Black Caps innings barely had time to put the kettle on or drop the handle on the toaster before the game was over.

New Zealand were 63 for two chasing 270 in the 15th over - 16 runs, eight wickets and 51 balls later, the match was complete with man-of-the-match Amit Mishra offering a leg spin master-class of five wickets for 18.

The total of 79, is New Zealand's fifth lowest score in 43 years of one-day internationals. Their 23.1 over occupation is the least time they have spent at the crease before being fully dismissed.

Captain Kane Williamson and coach Mike Hesson looked stunned as the dressing room became a turnstile of contagion.

To underline the nature of this outlier, in 10 ODI innings at the venue before this match, no team had scored less than 259 runs.

Williamson delivered his verdict in the post-match speeches: "Win or lose we expect to put out a tough performance. Today we were terrible.

"We expect more fight. There were a lot of soft options. It was unacceptable."

The gulf in batting skill and application between New Zealand and India was evident once the top scorer - Williamson, naturally, with 27 - was dismissed.

Tom Latham and Ross Taylor both made 19 and Martin Guptill was removed in the first over for a duck. The rest of the order from Nos 5-11 read like a telephone number: 3-0-0-4-0-0-1.

No New Zealand cricket operator wants to take that collect call in the middle of the night.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni could even afford the luxury of three slips and a short leg to Mishra in the denouement.

New Zealand's key issue continues to be the volume of runs generated by the middle order. Corey Anderson was brought back to bolster the power hitting in place of Anton Devcich. He became debutant off spinner Jayant Yadav's maiden ODI wicket, lbw for 0.

Any hitting from the middle order would have been welcome, let alone the 'power' variety.

Like the 2015 World Cup final, with the prospect of history via a maiden ODI series win in India on the line, the New Zealanders failed to rise to the big occasion.

No Kiwi side had won an ODI series in India in four previous attempts, beginning with a 4-0 defeat in 1988-89. The series in 1995 and 1999 were lost 3-2 - both were alive going into the final match - while the 2010 tourists lost 5-0.

There proved no chance of a respite.

New Zealand held what seemed like parity after the first innings, despite the chase looking daunting on a slowing wicket.

India were in command at 110-1 after 20 overs after winning the toss as Rohit Sharma (70 off 65 balls) and Virat Kohli (65 off 76 balls) developed a 79-run second-wicket stand. But that was when the run rate peaked at 5.50.

New Zealand, through tight ground fielding and bowling, forced it below five again. That restricted India to 199-4 at the beginning of the final powerplay in the 41st over.

New Zealand capitalised with three wickets for 37 from overs 36-44, containing the Indian middle order.

A sixth wicket partnership of 46 off 39 between Kedar Jadhav and Axar Patel boosted India's prospects, as did a couple of fielding blemishes.

Ish Sodhi (10-0-66-2) dropped a Kohli caught-and-bowled chance when he was on eight. That cost 57 more runs, but Sodhi redeemed himself with the dismissals of Manish Pandey slogging and Kohli lofting to long off.

Ross Taylor spilt Sharma at mid-wicket off the bowling of Jimmy Neesham when he was 66 from 60, a gaffe which had less impact given his subsequent dismissal.

The New Zealand bowlers were generally tidy with Mitchell Santner the stand out, taking one for 36 from his allotment. Striking Dhoni plumb for 41 off 59 balls was key to restricting India... or so it seemed at the time.

It was the first time India had batted first in the series with Dhoni backing that the overcast conditions would reduce the impact of dew to create a slippery ball which softens more quickly and reduces a bowler's armoury.

The dew wouldn't have had time to take its seat.

In a respectful initiative the Indian players wore their mothers' names on the back of their shirts to honour the integral role they played in helping them reach the international level.

Those women could feel justifiably proud at witnessing such a comprehensive performance.

Conversely, New Zealand have a stern task ahead to earn back credibility over the home summer.

- Herald on Sunday

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