Ross Taylor smashed a scintillating century to help New Zealand pull off a mammoth chase against India in the opening game of the one-day series played at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Taylor was well supported by Henry Nicholls and Captain Tom Latham, who chipped in with quick half-centuries to see New Zealand chase down 347 runs.
The day started with New Zealand Skipper Tom Latham winning the toss and opted to bowl first in conditions ideal for batting. Openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal got the side off to a decent start and added 50 runs after first set of eight overs. Shaw perished after scoring 20 runs off 21 balls, whereas Agarwal could not last any longer as he was dismissed by Tim Southee to see lose their second wicket with 54 runs on the board.
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer put on 102-run partnership to lay down ideal platform for others to pile on the runs in the later stages of the innings. Virat Kohli once again contributed to the team’s cause and scored a fluent half-century with the help of six boundaries.
Shreyas Iyer was the standout performer for the side with the bat and smashed his maiden century in limited-overs cricket. He added 136-run partnership with Lokesh Rahul to see India post a mammoth score on the board in their full quota of overs. Shreyas Iyer scored 103 runs off 107 balls with the help of eleven boundaries and one six. He was well supported by wicket-keeper batsman Lokesh Rahul, who scored a blistering 88 run off 64 balls with the help of three fours and six sixes.
For New Zealand, medium-pacer Colin de Grandhomme was the only bowler to concede less six runs an over. Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett, James Neesham were expensive with the ball in this game.
In reply, New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls got the side off to an excellent start. The duo added 85-run partnership to lay down a decent platform for others to play their natural game. Guptill looked good with the bat but was dismissed in the 16th over to see New Zealand lose their first wicket. He scored 32 off 41 balls with the help of two boundaries.
In the chase, Nicholls continued to play well and kept the scoreboard ticking for New Zealand. He put on a 62-run partnership with Ross Taylor to keep the home side in the hunt to chase down a mammoth score. Nicholls failed to reach three figures and departed after scoring 78 runs off 82 balls with the help of 11 boundaries.
Experienced middle-order batsman Ross Taylor was the standout batsman for the side in this opening game. He remained unbeaten till the end and smashed 109 not out off 84 balls with the help of 10 fours and 4 sixes. For New Zealand, the game changed in their favour as Taylor put on a 138-run partnership with Tom Latham to take the down to the wire.
Captain Tom Latham led from the front and scored 69 runs off 48 balls with the help of eight fours and two sixes. Mitchell Santner chipped in with nice cameo to see New Zealand complete the chase in penultimate over of the innings.
For India, Kuldeep Yadav was most expensive on show for the side and finished with figures of 84 for 2 in his 10 overs. Pacers Mohammad Shami and Shardul Thakur claimed one wicket each.
For his splendid century, Ross Taylor was named man of the match for New Zealand.