NEW DELHI: India crumbled to an embarrassing 87-run defeat in the fifth and final one-day international against New Zealand to crash to a 0-4 series loss at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday. Chasing a victory target of 304 runs, India were bundled out for 216 runs in 49.4 overs.
India lost their last hope of victory when Kane Williamson had captain MS Dhoni caught by James Neesham at long-off.
Dhoni hit 3 fours in his 72-ball 47 before falling to Williamson.
India were struggling with seven wickets down with the dismissal of Ravindra Jadeja off Kyle Mills.
Mills had Jadeja caught by Martin Guptill at the point boundary to reduce India’s victory chances.
R Ashwin (7) failed to click with the bat after he was promoted ahead of Ravindra Jadeja as Kane Williamson clean bowled the right-hander to leave India stuttering at 167/6 in 40.1 overs.
Spinner Nathan McCullum gave the hosts an important breakthrough when he dismissed Virat Kohli, who was batting gallantly, in the 37th over to reduce India to 145/5.
India lost in-form Kohli (82) after he added 67 runs for the fifth wicket with skipper MS Dhoni.
Kohli smashed three maximums and seven boundaries in his gutsy 78-ball knock as he tried to increase the scoring rate soon after reaching his 30th ODI fifty off 60 balls.
Debutant Matt Henry took his third wicket when he had Ambati Rayudu caught by Kane Williamson at gully.
Rayudu hit 2 fours in his 20-run knock that came off 40 balls.
Henry dismissed Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane in his alternate overs to dent the Indian run chase.
Henry trapped Rahane plumb in front of the wicket for his second scalp.
Shikhar Dhawan scored 9 runs off 28 balls before Henry had him caught by Nathan McCullum at second slip.
Rohit Sharma scored 4 runs off 13 balls before Kyle Mills had him caught by Ross Taylor at first slip.
The first boundary in the Indian run chase came off Dhawan’s bat in the sixth over.
Earlier, Taylor’s 102, Kane Williamson’s 88 and a late middle order surge powered New Zealand to 303/5.
James Neesham smashed 2 sixes and 3 fours in his 19-ball 34 and Luke Ronchi hit 2 fours in his 5-ball 11 to take New Zealand over the 300-run mark.
Taylor hit his tenth ODI century off 105 balls before Mohammed Shami had him caught by Shikhar Dhawan at deep mid-wicket.
Taylor’s knock was studded with a six and ten fours.
Brendon McCullum put up a 50-run stand off 37 balls with Taylor before Virat Kohli had him caught by Rohit Sharma in the covers.
McCullum hit a six and a four in his 18-ball 23 before falling to Kohli.
Varun Aaron had Kane Williamson caught by Ajinkya Rahane at backward point to give India the much-needed breakthrough.
Williamson hit a six and 8 fours in his 91-ball 88 and added 152 runs with Taylor for the third wicket.
Williamson and Taylor hit half-centuries to put up a 100-run stand in 108 balls.
Williamson got to his fifth successive half-century off 64 balls, while Taylor reached his fifty off 54 deliveries.
Williamson and Taylor put up a 50-run stand in 51 balls as New Zealand crossed the 100-run mark in the 22nd over.
Varun Aaron, who came as first bowling change, struck to get rid of opener Martin Guptill.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave India first breakthrough as he dismissed New Zealand opener Jesse Ryder. New Zealand lost both the openers inside 50 runs.
Pacers Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave India good start as New Zealand could only score 10 runs after the end of 5 overs.
Shami bowled three maiden overs, two successive, out of his first five to push Kiwis on the backfoot right from the word go.
Earlier, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and decided to field.
India made one change, recalling opener Shikhar Dhawan in place of Stuart Binny, who made his ODI debut in the fourth match at Hamilton.
New Zealand, which lead the five-match series 3-0 with one match tied, made two changes to its line-up for the match, naming fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan in place of Tim Southee and Matt Henry to make his ODI debut in place of another quick, Hamish Bennett.
After winning the toss Dhoni said: “The surface won’t change much and it’s rather hard. Quite similar to Napier. Might be a bit in it for the seamers early on.”
“It’s about building pressure, individually as well and we have to bowl in partnerships as well. Hopefully we pull off a win in this last game,” said Dhoni
While his counterpart Brendon McCullum said: “Not the worst toss to lose, there’s green tinge and it’s quite hard. If we can follow the blueprint we’ve had going, we should do well.”
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