50 overpayments India 306 for 7 (Iyer 80, Dhawan 72, Gill 50, Ferguson 3-59, Southee 3-73) vs. New Zealand
After they were bowled over, Dhawan and Gill set the stage by adding 124 in 23.1 overs, and their fourth century in nine innings. New Zealand batted again in the middle, and for a while, it looked like they might manage to keep India inside 300. But Iyer and Sanju Samson provided the momentum by batting 94 runs off just 77 for the fifth wicket. Washington then crunched an undefeated 37 of 16 balls to apply the finishing touches.
Earlier, a buzz by James Neesham upset New Zealand’s balance somewhat as they were forced to play with four players up front alongside Mitchell Santner.
With the new ball moving, Dawan and Jill cautiously started off. They faced 44 point balls in the top ten, and had a scoring average of less than four after 14.
There were a few moments of intent though. Dhawan used his feet to lead Tim Southee to the boundary of the cover, grabbed Gil Steen, chipped Matt Henry long and later lifted him to a deep third. On the whole, New Zealand seamen bowled hardly any bad balls.
During this period, Jill also gets a life. On the 10th, he went after a full delivery from Henry, only to end up cutting it about a third deep. Lucky Ferguson lunged, made a dive and put his fingers under the ball. But it didn’t stick.
It was Dhawan who eventually stepped up and hit Ferguson for four consecutive fours in the 15th over. Three overs later, he took four more balls from Adam Milne, then reached his half-century, off 63 balls, with four more balls from him. Gill joined the action by hitting Santner for six in a row as India took 34 runs in three overs.
Gill reached fifty in 63 balls but fell soon after, sending Ferguson straight into square leg deep. In the next over, Southee chipped Dhawan to a point back for his 200th ODI wicket, becoming just the fifth New Zealand man to achieve the feat.
Those two wickets put the brakes on the scoring rate, as Iyer and Rishabh Pant managed just 10 runs from overs from 27 to 31. Milne could field Iyer again when he failed to get the height on a ramp shot. But Tom Latham failed to time his jump behind the stumps and took advantage.
Punt’s knock finished off 15 off 23 when he pulled a short delivery from Ferguson onto the stumps. Suryakumar Yadav opened his account with an impressive four goals from the first ball but two balls later, Ferguson caught him at first slip.
Eere and Samson held hands for a bit before opening up. Both batters enjoyed the speed at bat and changed the innings tempo with their strokes. Eyre preferred the air route, while Samson hit more on the ground.
Samson fell for a 38-ball 36 but Iyer carried on. After bringing his 50 of his 56 balls, he went on an all-out attack. From the other end, Washington has posted everything from drive on the road to haul to shot on the lap to catch boundaries.
Iyer fell in the final over for 80 off 76 balls, but India’s late acceleration meant they scored 96 in their last ten overs to bowl what Washington called a “par-total”. They have an inexperienced bowling attack to defend. Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik made their debuts, no sixth choice bowling either.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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