Napier: A match billed as a runfest was turned upside-down by India’s spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal on Wednesday, as New Zealand were crushed by eight wickets in the first one-day international in Napier.
Yadav and Chahal delivered a spin bowling masterclass, mesmerising New Zealand with six wickets between them, while Mohammed Shami claimed three as New Zealand folded for a mere 157 with 12 overs to spare.
The target was reduced by two runs and one over for India following a 30-minute break when the setting sun blinded the eyes of players and umpires.
But the interruption made no difference to Shikhar Dhawan, who was unbeaten on 75 after leading India to mow down the target in 34.5 overs.
Coming off a series win against Australia, India showed they are building nicely as a well-balanced unit four months out from the World Cup, while for New Zealand there is work to be done.
The New Zealand innings folded so quickly that India had time to bat for nine overs before the scheduled break, reaching 41 with Dhawan on 29 and Sharma on 11.
Sharma went on the second ball after the interval, with Doug Bracewell making the breakthrough, before the players left the field again when the setting sun reached a dangerously low angle.
When India’s innings restarted again, Dhawan on 31 was dropped by wicketkeeper Tom Latham.
It was a costly error for New Zealand as the left-hander, who passed 5,000 ODI runs in the course of the innings, went on to make his 26th half century.
Kohli, a day after becoming the first ever player to clinch all three top Internati-onal Cricket Council honours including cricketer of the year, was caught behind for 45. Ambati Rayudu finished not out 13.
When New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat, it took Shami only eight deliveries to clean out openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro before Yadav and Chahal worked their magic.
Ross Taylor’s run of six successive half-centuries came to an end when he was caught and bowled by Chahal for 24.
Tom Latham, reputedly New Zealand’s best player of spin, went the same way for 11.