As India began their quest to achieve another series victory against New Zealand, they got couldn’t have asked for a better start in the first ODI against the Blackcaps at Dharamsala which began earlier today.
After winning the toss, India opted to field first. The Men in Blue chose to open the bowling with Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya, the latter who was making his ODI debut. As New Zealand got off to a flier scoring 14 runs in the first 11 deliveries; fans were expecting another batting paradise, but it was not to be. In the very last ball of the 2nd over, Pandya removed Martin Guptill and thus began New Zealand’s downfall.
Umesh Yadav followed suit by taking the wickets of captain Kane Williamson and the dangerous Ross Taylor in quick succession. The Kiwis were struggling at 33-3 as opener Tom Latham, and the dangerous Corey Anderson looked to revive their innings.
Who said fast bowlers couldn't take good catches?
As Pandya continued to take the attack to two batsmen out at the crease, Anderson looked to counter-attack him as he was bowling a few juicy full-length deliveries. In the 4th ball of the 10th over, Pandya bowled one full and wide outside off. The ball was there to be hit, but Anderson was not able to get under it.
He tried to free his arms but ended up slapping a half-volley towards Umesh at mid-off, who hurled himself to his right and grabbed a stunner with his outstretched hands. Two wickets and a breath-taking catch. Yadav was at the helm of it all.
Wickets continued to tumble for the Kiwis as Kedar Jhadav got into the act as well by taking 2 wickets in 2 deliveries to dismiss James Neesham and Mitchell Santner. The Kiwis did find an unlikely hero in Tim Southee who went all-out and smashed his way to a half-century off 40 deliveries. By doing so, he broke the record for the highest ever score by a No 10 batsman for New Zealand.
Along with Tom Latham, the Southee-Latham duo put up a partnership of 71 runs for the 10th wicket and took New Zealand to a total of 191 in 43.5 overs. Hardik Pandya was the top wicket getter for the Men in Blue as he took 3-31 in 7 overs.