10 December 2010

India whitewashes the Black Caps

Kohli and company with the Trophy

Ravichandran Ashwin led a devastating spin attack as India thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets in the fifth and final one-day international on Friday for a 5-0 clean sweep of the series. The off-spinner grabbed three wickets for 24 runs off eight overs to help the hosts bowl out New Zealand for 103 off 27 overs .Part-time spinners Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan chipped in with two wickets apiece as New Zealand were bundled out for their lowest total in one-day internationals against India. 

The Black Caps started their defence with spin and that paid two quick dividends. Gambhir was first out for a duck, caught at slip off Nathan McCullum, then Virat Kohli  survived several leg-before appeals before finally edging Vettori to Taylor at slip.But Yuvraj, who ended unbeaten on 42, and Patel settled the nerves with a 97-run partnership, the latter striking the wining runs when he launched Grant Elliott for a boundary.India finally made home easily when just 21.1 overs had been bowled.

New Zealand suffered their second series whitewash in a row, having lost 4-0 to Bangladesh in a preceding one-day tournament. For India, it was their second clean sweep at home since their 5-0 triumph over England in 2008.

Gambhir captained the team in the absence of MS Dhoni, who was rested for the one-dayers along with several senior players, and said it was a great sign for India that the reserve players had done so well. "It's a good thing that there is healthy competition and that can bring the best out of any player. You can never afford to be complacent at any stage because you know there is another one waiting in the wings."


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