India lose No. 1 ranking with second defeat to NZ

AFP, HAMILTON, New Zealand

Thu, Jan 23, 2014 - Page 20

India gave up their world No. 1 one-day international ranking yesterday when they suffered a second successive defeat to New Zealand in a rain-abbreviated game in Hamilton.

India were 20 runs short of their Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target of 297 when more rain ended the game with three deliveries left. India’s second loss to eighth-ranked New Zealand saw them slip behind Australia on the world rankings.

A two-hour rain break during the New Zealand innings and big hitting by all-rounder Corey Anderson gave India a daunting target, which they threatened to reach until the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

When the skipper went for 56 in the 40th over, India were 257-6 and their tailend batsmen were unable to maintain the required run rate.

New Zealand, sent into bat first, made 271-7 after rain reduced their innings to 42 overs. Anderson was the key figure in a 101-run slog in the 8.4 overs after the break, which, under the Duckworth-Lewis system, saw India’s target raised to 297.

They made a rocky start to their reply when Tim Southee removed Shikhar Dhawan (12) and followed with the dismissal of Rohit Sharma (20) to claim his 100th one-day wicket. When Mitchell McClenagham removed Ajinkya Rahane for 36 to have India 127-3, they needed a further 170 off 18.2 overs.

With Virat Kohli and Dhoni at the crease, it remained possible until Southee came back for his second spell and captured the prized wicket of Kohli for 78. Suresh Raina plundered a run a ball until he went for 35 and then New Zealand claimed the break they needed when Anderson removed Dhoni.

It started a collapse that saw four wickets fall for 18 runs as India’s run chase crumbled.

The New Zealand innings followed a similar pattern to their won first-match victory in Napier on Sunday by 24 runs.

Opener Jesse Ryder hit a few quick boundaries before being dismissed, while Martin Guptill reached 44 before he was removed, leaving Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to build the innings. They took New Zealand to 170-2 when the rain came and after the resumption Williamson was removed, to open the way for Anderson’s charge.

Three weeks after smashing the fastest-ever one-day century, Anderson had the fastest 50 in his sights when he was dismissed. He had belted 44 off 16 deliveries and needed a six off the 17th to tie the record set by Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya, but was caught by Shikhar Dhawan on the boundary at long on off Ishant Sharma.