India vs New Zealand: Boult’s Heroics Inflict Heavy Defeat on Kohli & Dhoni-Less India

Trent Boult got the ball to talk, and gave India the kind of match they’d want to brush aside as a ‘one-off’ or a ‘bad day’, setting up an easy eight-wicket win in the fourth ODI in Hamilton.

The left-arm pacer returned stunning figures of 10-4-21-5 to bowl the visitors out for 92 in just 30.5 overs. New Zealand chased it down in 14.5 overs, the entire game lasting only 3.5 hours.

Seven Indian batsmen were dismissed for single-digit scores, unable to tackle the moving ball. The highest scorer? Yuzvendra Chahal, with an unbeaten 18! The fact that he also played more balls (37) than anyone else says it all.

The going was fairly normal for the first five overs after New Zealand opted to bowl first. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were looking to settle in, but it all changed in a few overs of madness. Boult produced one of the spells he’d remember for long, running through the heart of the Indian batting.

It all started with Boult trapping Dhawan lbw with one that held its angle, beating his attempted flick. Boult then had Rohit chipping straight back in him next over, adding pressure on India’s middle order sans Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.

Two senior batsmen who had to step up in such a situation fell for ducks to poor shots off harmless deliveries from Colin de Grandhomme. Ambati Rayudu drove wildly to cover, while Dinesh Karthik poked tamely and edged behind three balls later.

Shubman Gill was given a debut in Kohli’s absence but there was little he could do as Boult took back the baton. Gill fell for nine, chipping a return catch like Rohit had done. Kedar Jadhav was soon trapped in front by one that swung in, as India slipped to 35 for 6. It became 40 for 7 when de Grandhomme got through Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s defence.

India’s last hope was Hardik Pandya. He had the license to go and began well driving Boult down the ground for a couple of boundaries, taking India past their lowest ever ODI total of 54. Boult, though, was way too clever. He slipped in a quick short ball on the leg stump channel, and Pandya gloved a simple catch to the keeper.

Boult bowled 10 consecutive overs, by the end of which, the game was sealed.

The rest of it was just a matter of time and delaying the inevitable. Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal added 25 for the ninth wicket – the highest partnership of the innings – but India folded for less than a 100.

Bhuvneshwar dented New Zealand’s batting confidence a little with the wickets of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, but India’s bowlers had just way too little to defend, allowing Ross Taylor to have some fun in the company of Henry Nicholls.

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