New Zealand beat India by 19 runs in the fourth ODI of the five-match series in Ranchi, also team India’s limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home ground. With this win, the Blackcaps will level the series 2-2. The final ODI scheduled to be held at Visakhapatnam on 29th October, will act as the series decider.
Earlier, having won the toss for the first time in the ongoing ODI tournament, the Blackcaps have chose to bat first. Opener Martin Guptill (72), top scorer for New Zealand, played the role of an anchor for his team to score a total of 260/7. Skipper Kane Williamson (41), Tom Latham (39) and Ross Taylor (35) were the major contributors for New Zealand with bat. Despite of a below-par team total, the New Zealanders have successfully defended it with an exceptional bowling performance.
Coming to the Indian bowlers, only Spinner Amit Mishra has managed to take two wickets, while Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel settled for one each. All the three Indian pacers have struggled with there line and length throughout the match, as they gave off easy runs.
Though New Zealand’s 260 looked a cake walk for India in the beginning, the equations have soon changed after Tim Southee sent Manish Pandey and Kedhar Jadhav to pavilion in two consecutive deliveries. India was struggling at 154/6 in 34 overs as New Zealand gripped closer to victory. Although the tail of the Indian batting unit fought for runs, it has eventually helped the men in Blue only to reduce the winning margin for New Zealand.
Ajinkya Rahane (57) and Virat Kohli (47) top scored for India, while Tim Southee (3/40) recorded the best bowling figures in New Zealand’s bowling. Both the teams will now lock horns against each other for the fifth and the final ODI at Vizag on Saturday to decide the winner of the series.