India set target of 261 to win series

New Zealand 260 for 7 (Guptill 72, Williamson 41, Mishra 2-41) v India
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Martin Guptill’s 72 off 84 balls contained 12 fours © AFP

New Zealand, assessing the slow, dry Ranchi surface tactfully, ran away to a 96-run opening stand off 93 balls, but India’s spinners hit back to limit them to 260 for 7. The visitors managed all of three boundaries in the last ten overs, one of which coming off the final ball of the innings. With New Zealand needing to win to keep the series alive, Martin Guptill led the way with 72 off 84 balls, his second half-century of the tour, and still gave his team, who picked three spinners, a fighting chance.

As the New Zealand’s innings progressed, the odd ball shot low while several stopped on the batsmen. A couple of grubbers even raised a puff of dust from the surface. The nature of the pitch put in perspective the vitality of Guptill’s early assault, after New Zealand won their first toss of the tour in their eighth match. He didn’t always look pretty, but bent India’s attack out of shape in the Powerplay.

The first over from Umesh Yadav, a maiden, which contained a bouncer leaping towards the chest of MS Dhoni, was only a red herring. Dhawal Kulkarni, taking the new ball ahead of Hardik Pandya, received a cold welcome from Guptill. The opener laid down the marker with three fours off four balls. The first two were skewed drives wide of point and over mid-on. The third was disdainfully scythed through extra cover. Then in an effort to exploit the slowness the pitch Kulkarni attempted two offcutters against Latham, but was taken for two cover-driven fours.

Full report to follow

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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