After whitewashing New Zealand in the 5-match T20I series, India suffered their first defeat of the tour as New Zealand won the opening ODI by 4 wickets at Hamilton. With this win, New Zealand have taken a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
Opting to bowl first, New Zealand were successful in sending both the Indian openers back to the pavilion for just 54 runs. However, the Indian middle-order stood strong and thanks to their responsible batting, the visitors ended with 347-4 in 50 overs.
Chasing 348, New Zealand had a steady start as their openers added 88 runs for the first wicket. Although they lost a few quick wickets towards the end, the presence of a well-settled Ross Taylor (109*) and the handy innings of Henry Nicholls (78) and Tom Latham (69) helped New Zealand finish off the game with 11 balls to spare.
The match proved to be a run-fest, with several quality innings from the batsmen. On that note, let's have a look at the top three performers of the match:
1. Ross Taylor (109*, 84 balls, 4x10, 6x4)
New Zealand had a steady start to their innings as the openers added 88 runs for the first wicket. However, the chase fumbled a little when Tom Blundell (9 runs off 10 balls) lost his wicket with the scoreboard reading 109-2 in 19.1 overs. While Blundell's dismissal provided India the chance to bounce back, it also brought Ross Taylor to the crease.
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Taylor looked sublime with his bat as he built his innings while keeping the required run-rate well under control. He got a reprieve while batting at 10 and made the most of it as he went on to score an unbeaten 109 (off 84 balls) to take New Zealand over the finish line.
The right-handed batsman added 62 runs (56 balls) with Henry Nicholls (78 runs off 82 balls) for the third wicket and 138 runs (79 balls) with Tom Latham (69 runs off 48 balls) for the 4th wicket to keep the momentum in New Zealand's favor.