BLACKCAPS 292-7 (Kane Williamson 71, Corey Anderson 68, Ross Taylor 55, Mohammed Shami 4-55) beat India 268 all out (Virat Kohli 123 MS Dhoni 40, Mitchell McClenaghan 4-68, Corey Anderson 2-51) by 24 runs.
The BLACKCAPS have taken a 1-0 lead in the ANZ One Day International Series after a morale boosting victory over India in Napier tonight.
With a well-constructed 71 from Kane Williamson and an enthralling 68 not out from Corey Anderson, the BLACKCAPS made 292 for seven in their 50 overs, considered around par at the break.
In reply, India appeared to be in control with Virat Kohli scoring a classy century batting with skipper MS Dhoni, until a late run of wickets from the BLACKCAPS bowled India over for 268, giving them victory by 24 runs against the number one side in the world.
Defending 292, Mitchell McClenaghan made the initial break-through for the BLACKCAPS, enticing Rohit Sharma into a hook shot, only for it to be gobbled up by Tim Southee at fine-leg.
Shikhar Darwin was the next to fall for 32, before Nathan McCullum put his entry in for catch of the summer with a stunning one-handed effort at mid-on to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane for three. Some more brilliance in the field saw Suresh Raina fall, with Tim Southee coming in to take a difficult catch at fine-leg.
That brought the Indian captain to the crease. The BLACKCAPS would have been well aware that Dhoni and Kohli would be India’s two main strike weapons and the pair soon showed why.
Having played within himself for much of the innings, Kohli picked his moment to attack and timed it perfectly. With the explosive Dhoni at the other end, the pair began to pick off the BLACKCAPS bowlers with ease, peppering the boundary and the crowd.
Brendon McCullum decided the best form of defence was attack, bringing McClenaghan back, and he responded with the wickets of Dhoni, caught behind by Ronchi, then Kohli, who was well taken by Jesse Ryder in the covers.
McClenaghan then got Ravinda Jadeja before Williamson, brought into the attack to replace Adam Milne who went off injured, got Ravichandran Ashwin, who had shown great intent in his brief innings.
The last rites were read when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was run out before Tim Southee bowled Ishant Sharma to end the match, to the delight of the team and the Napier crowd.
In the first innings, Ryder welcomed the Indian bowling attack with a six off the final ball of the first over. He whipped away two more boundaries the following over, but was cut short on the fourth, when he was bowled by Mohammed Shami on 18.
His co-opener Martin Gutpill was the next to go for eight, bringing together the pairing of Williamson and Ross Taylor. The duo lay down the foundations for the BLACKCAPS in the early stages, patiently putting on 121 for the third wicket.
Williamson, playing in his 50th ODI, brought up his seventh career half-century off 66 balls, showed complete control en route. The 23-year-old’s stint came to end in the 33rd over just after the BLACKCAPS had surpassed the 150 mark, caught by Rahane off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
That left Taylor to take sole control of the anchor role, while skipper McCullum came in and played an entertaining cameo of 30 from 25 balls. Taylor continued his prolific summer with another half-century, before edging out in the 37th over.
Anderson joined his captain and was in destructive form from the word go. His power was on full display for the Napier crowd, launching three fours and four sixes, including two onto the roof of the Harris Stand.
Luke Ronchi chipped in with 30 off 18 and the BLACKCAPS headed back to the shed with a more than competitive total behind them. Credit has to be given to the Indian bowling attack, who did well to keep the score to below 300.
Shami was the chief destroyer taking four for 55 from nine overs, while three others took a wicket apiece.
The series now shifts to Hamilton for the second match on Wednesday.