India have leveled the series against New Zealand as the hosts chased down a moderate 231 in Pune. The visitors were restricted by some great bowling display of Indian bowlers and the batters got the required target with ease.
Bhuvi knocked NZ apart early in the innings
Setting the Scene:
India lost the last match in Mumbai as Kiwi pair Ross Taylor and Tom Latham put up a valiant partnership. The latter went to score a marvelous century and steered the Kiwi ship home on that day. So India needed to win today to level the series and stay alive in the series.
India 232 for 4 (Dhawan 68, Karthik 64*) beat New Zealand 230 for 9 (Nicholls 42, de Grandhomme 41, Bhuvneshwar 3-45) by six wickets
Winning the toss, Kiwi captain Kane Williamson chose to bat despite winning the last match chasing. It was not a good start at all for their batsmen as both openers Guptill and Munro departed cheaply and were victim of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Indian bowlers were terrific up front, and the Kiwis were in trouble at 58-4.
Previous day hero Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls though tried to put up a partnership but the former fell to Axar Patel, the left arm spinner who replaced Kuldeep Yadav in this match. Colin De Grandhomme hit some hefty blows along with Southee in the end, but the Kiwis could only post 230 after their full quota of overs, which was not what they would have liked at the beginning.
In reply, Rohit Sharma was gone early, Kohli and Dhawan steadied the inning but Indian captain got out on personal score of 29. In came Dinesh Karthik and the duo batted exceedingly well to nullify the Kiwi threats and cruised India to a win. Both Dhawan and Karthik had half centuries, though the former got out on 68, Karthik remained unbeaten on 64 and saw India through to a comprehensive win.
Karthik scored an unbeaten 64
Man of the Match:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was awarded as MOTM for his bowling figures of 3/45
In the post match presentation, he said, “That’s my nature, I’m calm, and however you practice you replicate that. I never try to do anything different. It’s the way I bowl, with the new ball, I swing it. It wasn’t happening today, so I just tried to bowl in good areas, got two wickets and that gave me confidence. Things get easier for you when you’re confident. There’s no easy route to success, but with confidence, you can do those good things better. I’m not muscular, but thanks to the trainer, introducing player-specific training, I feel much confident and stronger when it comes to fitness.”