Virat Kohli scored his 4th ODI century to set up India's 40-run victory in the first ODI at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. India asked to bat first by the Kiwis were bowled out for 276. New Zealand in reply were bowled out for 236 in 45.2 overs with Yuvraj Singh and R Ashwin doing the damage when it mattered by taking three wickets each. Towards the end, it was India's Skipper Gautam Gambhir who came up with an outstanding catch running backwards at covers to break a dangerous 9th wicket partnership between Nathan McCullum (35 from 34 balls) and Kyle Mills (32 from 28 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes) which put up as many as 67 runs!
India surprisingly got off to a wonderful start despite all the talk being of how difficult the batting conditions would be early on. Murali Vijay and Gautam Gambhir attacked the Kiwi bowling to put them under pressure but both failed to kick on beyond attractive 30s. Virat Kohli, who came in at no.3 had the right ideas as he stayed the distance to compile 105 from 104 balls with 10 fours to later collect the Man of the Match award . Kohli had a 88-run stand with Yuvraj Singh who scored 42 from 64 balls with 7 fours which provided the launching pad for India. The hosts were on their way to put up 300 plus but had a dramatic collapse losing their last six wickets for the addition of only 26 runs.
Andy McKay bowled superbly for the Kiwis getting the ball to reverse swing and at the same time bowled hostile short pitch balls to capture four wickets. Kyle Mills also bowled taking 3 for 42 in 10 overs. In their chase, New Zealand looked good when Martin Guptill struck some lovely blows through the line, but the opener holed out in the deep after reaching 30. India then found resistance from Ross Taylor who scored a fighting 66 from 69 balls which included three sixes but a top edged sweep ended the show in the 32nd over itself.
Just when the Kiwis were on the verge of a defeat at 169 for 8 came a spirited partnership between Nathan McCullum and Kyle Mills whose counter attack proved too good for India at one stage. Sreesanth got rid of these two batsmen in two balls to wrap up things as New Zealand got bowled out for 236 in 45.2 overs.
Toss and Teams
An under-strength India team has been asked to bat first by New Zealand's make-shift Skipper Ross Taylor after losing the toss in the First ODI at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. Daniel Vettori has decided to skip this match due to a niggle following his heavy work load in the Test Series. India are for the first time being led by Gautam Gambhir as the Selectors decided to rest some of the big players ahead of the South Africa Tour.
Bengal's Wicket Keeper - Wriddhiman Saha who unexpectedly had a Test Debut against South Africa will be making his ODI Debut today because of the absence of MS Dhoni. The Indian team also sees the return of the big hitting Yusuf Pathan after a long time.