In the first ODI of the five-match series between India and New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier on Wednesday, the former ensured a magnificent eight-wicket victory over the hosts.
The openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave the team a convincing lead scoring quick runs for India and putting the Kiwi bowlers under pressure.
Chasing a mere 158, Dhawan completed his 5,000 ODI runs with 118 innings to its name.
The opening pair guided India to 41 without any loss of a wicket in nine overs at dinner break. While Rohit was dismissed for 11, Virat Kohli and Dhawan in the middle led a match-winning 91-run partnership before the Indian captain was dismissed for 45.
Dhawan’s streak of heroics continued alongside Ambati Rayudu as the duo finished off the opening ODI in style.
Earlier, the hosts failed to put up an impressive show after opting to bat in the series opener. Kiwi captain Kane Williamson top-scored with 64 runs off 81 balls, which included seven boundaries. Pacer Mohammed Shami inflicted early damage to leave the hosts two down within four overs and became the fastest Indian to take 100 wickets in the process.
Williamson and former captain Ross Taylor tried boosting their side in the middle. But Taylor’s dismissal left his captain stranded and led to the untimely crumbling of the Kiwi batting line-up, folding for 157 runs in 38 overs. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav spun a web around the New Zealand batsmen, claiming four wickets, while Shami ended with three wickets to his name. Joining the party, Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal added to the pressure with two wickets and part-timer Kedar Jadhav chipped in with a wicket.
With a positive start in its name, India will meet New Zealand in the second ODI of the five-match series at Mount Maunganui on January 26.