India bowl New Zealand out for 103

Chennai, Dec 10 (IANS) India showed off their variety and prowess in bowling and bundled New Zealand out for 103 in just 27 overs in their fifth and concluding One-day International here Friday.

Skipper Daniel Vettori’s decision to bat first on winning the toss misfired badly as the Indian seamers achieved early breakthroughs, and then the spinners called the tune as the Kiwis sunk with barely any fight.

There were a few sparks of resistance from the Kiwis when Scott Styris (24) and Jamie How (23) put on 48 runs for the fourth wicket, but when both were dismissed, the die was cast.

How was castled in Yuvraj Singh’s very first over, and in the next Ashwin had Styris plumb in front, attempting the sweep.

With plenty of moisture in the air and on the pitch following heavy showers earlier this week, it was expected that the team winning the toss would opt to bowl first to capitalise on the conditions, but Vettori must be ruing his decision that presented the home team the early advantage.

When Praveen Kumar dismissed opener Martin Guptill in the very first over, the Kiwis were on the backfoot and as wickets tumbled at regular intervals, the Indians gained the upper hand.

As well as the seamers bowled, with Ashish Nehra picking up two wickets, it was the spinners who made serious inroads and the Kiwi batsmen appeared all at sea.

The sweep shot cost the New Zealand batsmen dear while some of them were also guilty of attempting audacious shots when the situation warranted caution.

The Indian slow bowlers, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who has added the ‘carrom ball’ to his repertoire, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan kept a tight line and length to bamboozle the Kiwis.

Ashwin was the pick of the spinners with a haul of three wickets while Pathan and Yuvraj came away with two apiece to complete the rout.

New Zealand made one change, Grant Elliott replacing seamer Andy McKay while India rested Zaheer Khan and included Munaf Patel.