HAMILTON, Jan 22 (IANS): India lost their No.1 ranking they held since the 2011 World Cup triumph as they went down by 15 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method against New Zealand in the rain-affected second ODI at the Seddon Park here Wednesday.
Set a rain-revised daunting target of 297 in 42 overs, India riding on some stellar show by Virat Kohli (78) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (56) came tantalisingly close and reached 277/9 in 41.3 overs as rain interrupted again for the third time. Later, the victory margin was revised to 15 runs in favour of New Zealand.
Fast bowler Tim Southee got four for 72 while Corey Anderson got three for 67.
New Zealand, put in by India, scored 271 for seven in 42 overs during when the game was held up twice due to rain for nearly two hours.
And when India came out to bat, they were given a stiff target to chase. Openers Rohit Sharma (12) and Shikhar Dhawan (20) were slow off the block and it put pressure on the middle order.
Ajinkya Rahane (36) and Suresh Raina (35) came up with valuable knocks but the onus was on Kohli and Dhoni to take the team home safely.
Kohli's 65-ball innings was studded with seven fours and two sixes but he fell after trying to hit Southee through mid-wicket.
Dhoni also raised hopes with his 44-ball innings that included seven fours and one six, but once he departed in the 40th over off Corey Anderson, India's hopes vanished.
Earlier, the New Zealand innings was powered by Kane Williamson, who was the top scorer with 77, and ex-skipper Ross Taylor's 57, his second consecutive half-century in the series.
Martin Guptill and Anderson made 44 each but in contrasting fashion. Guptill took 65 balls while Anderson needed just 17 balls.
Anderson smacked five sixes and two fours during his whirlwind knock and missed the record of the fastest ODI fifty by a whisker. Indian pacer Mohammad Shami got three for 55.
The first interruption took place when the hosts were 98/1 in the 17th over. They were off the ground for seven minutes due to a heavy drizzle.
When the second interruption took place due to heavy shower, New Zealand, put in to bat by India, were set for a big score and play was stopped with the score at 170/2 in 33.2 overs.
But when play resumed, New Zealand suffered a batting collapse and from 170/2 they slumped to 252/7. They lost wickets in a heap but still managed to score 101 runs in the last 8.4 overs.
India fielded an unchanged squad while New Zealand made one change by bringing in Kyle Mills for the injured Adam Milne.