RANCHI, Oct 26: New Zealand levelled the five-match series with an emphatic 19-run victory over India in the fourth One-Day International at Ranchi on Sunday. Defending 260/7, the Kiwis picked up key wickets in the middle overs to ensure India fell short.
Despite the early wicket of Rohit Sharma, India seemed on course for a series-winning victory with Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli looking good in a 79-run partnership. As has become the case now, Virat Kohli�s dismissal for 45 � edging behind to BJ Watling off Mitchell Santner � was the real turning point. The run-rate plunged and Ajinkya Rahane (57) was the next to follow with Jimmy Neesham rapping him plumb in front.
Earlier, Martin Guptill struck a fluent half-century but New Zealand failed to seize the momentum as Indian spinners did well.
Opting to bat, New Zealand were off to their best start on the tour with Guptill slamming an 84-ball-72 studded with 12 boundaries. Along with Tom Latham (39 from 40 balls; 4x4) he laid a solid foundation putting together 96 from 93 balls for the opening wicket before left-arm spinner Axar Patel (1/38) gave the much-needed breakthrough after a lacklustre performance by the seamers.
New Zealand: M Guptill c Dhoni b Pandya 72, T Latham c Rahane b Patel 39, K Williamson c Dhoni b Mishra 41, R Taylor run out (Kulkarni/Dhoni) 34, J Neesham c Kohli b Mishra 6, B Watling c Sharma b Kulkarni 14, A Devcich c Pandya b Yadav 11, M Santner not out 17, T Southee not out 9. Extras: (lb-4, w-13) 17. Total (For 7 wickets; 50 overs) 260. Fall of wickets: 1-96, 2-138, 3-184, 4-192, 5-217, 6-223, 7-242. Bowling: Yadav 10-1-60-1, Kulkarni 7-0-59-1, Pandya 5-0-31-1, Mishra 10-0-41-2, Patel 10-0-38-1, Jadhav 8-0-27-0.
India: A Rahane lbw Neesham 57, R Sharma c Watling b Southee 11, V Kohli c Watling b Sodhi 45, MS Dhoni b Neesham 11, A Patel b Boult 38, M Pandey c Latham b Southee 12, K Jadhav lbw Southee 0, H Pandya c Latham b Santner 9, A Mishra run out 14, D Kulkarni not out 25, U Yadav c Taylor b Boult 7. Extras: (lb-3, w-9) 12. Total (All out in 48.4 overs) 241. Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-98, 3-128, 4-135, 5-154, 6-154, 7-167, 8-205, 9-207. Bowling: Southee 9-0-40-3, Boult 9.4-1-48-2, Neesham 6-0-38-2, Santner 10-0-38-1, Sodhi 10-1-52-1, Devcich 4-0-22-0. � Agencies