BLACKCAPS 303-5 in 50 overs (Ross Taylor 102, Kane Williamson 88, Jimmy Neesham 34) beat India 216 all out (Vitrat Kohli 82, MS Dhoni 47, Matt Henry 4-38, Kyle Mills 2-35, Nathan McCullum 1-33) by 87 runs.
The BLACKCAPS completed the job tonight at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, winning the fifth and final match clinically by 87 runs. Ross Taylor’s sensational summer continued, making it back-to-back centuries and lifting the BLACKCAPS to 303 for five in the first innings. India’s reply never really got going, with the home side’s bowlers taking wickets at important moments, including four on debut for Matt Henry. India were bowled out in the final over for 216.
The day started well for India, with MS Dhoni winning the toss for the fifth straight time and opting to bowl first. Jesse Ryder (19) and Martin Guptill (16) were both back in the shed relatively cheaply to have the BLACKCAPS 41 for two.
However, Groundhog Day rolled around with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor combining to once more to take momentum and even the match away from India.
For the third time, the duo made a 100 partnership and Williamson brought up his fifth consecutive half-century, to post the most runs by a New Zealander in an ODI series with 360 runs from five games.
While looking odds on to make his first century, he fell 12 short on 88. But where he missed out, Taylor would not, playing an almost perfect innings and setting up a wonderful platform for the BLACKCAPS. After 105 balls he brought up his 10th ODI century, featuring 10 fours and a six. His masterpiece came to an end the very next ball, but the damage had been done.
Cameos from Brendon McCullum (23), Jimmy Neesham (34*) and Luke Ronchi (11*) elevated the BLACKCAPS past the 300 mark – a major achievement on what was a bowlers’ pitch.
The bowlers were not to be outdone by the batsman though, with the hosts keeping things tight throughout.
Kyle Mills made the first break through when he had Rohit Sharma caught at slip for four. Next came a special moment, with debutant Matt Henry dismissing Shikhar Dhawan for the first wicket of his international career. The Canterbury Wizards bowler was impressive in his ten overs, claiming figures of four for 38.
Unsurprisingly the main Indian resistance came from Virat Kholi (82) and MS Dhoni (47), but their side’s bad start had seen the required run-rate climb rapidly, forcing them into rash strokes.
Kholi was all class in his innings but fell in the 37th over while trying to clear the rope for 82. His demise added further pressure to Dhoni and with the BLACKCAPS giving nothing away, he was left with a near impossible mission. All the bowlers chipped in, including Kane Williamson who took the scalp of Dhoni. By that stage though India required 18 an over and were haemorrhaging wickets.
The BLACKCAPS cleaned up with tail with minimal drama, and Jimmy Neesham completed the win by bowling Varun Aaron in the final over to the delight of the crowd and wrap up the series 4-0.
The ODI series has been accounted for - bring on the Tests.