Friday 23 February 2018 / 05:45 AM


Another blazing century from Virat Kohli was not enough for India in their series-opening one-day clash against New Zealand, with a mammoth partnership from Tom Latham and Ross Taylor guiding the tourists to a six-wicket win.

India was fresh off a 4-1 ODI trouncing of Australia, but stumbled to 8/280 in Mumbai as Kohli – who carved 121 from 125 balls, including nine fours and two sixes – struggled to find support. Dinesh Karthik (37) was the next highest scorer, one of several batsmen to get a start but fail to kick on.

Playing in his 200th match, the ton was Kohli’s 31st in one-day internationals – 13 more than the great Sachin Tendulkar managed at that stage of his career, and lifting him to second on the all-time ODI centuries list behind his fellow Indian icon.

Trent Boult was the standout Kiwi bowler, removing dangerous openers Shikhar Dhawan (9) Rohit Sharma (20) inside the first six overs before finishing with 4/35, while Tim Southee was expensive but took the crucial wickets of Kohli and Karthik in his 3/73.

The Black Caps looked in a bit of trouble at 3/80 in the 18th over as Colin Munro (28), Kane Williamson (6) and Martin Guptill (32) departed, but Taylor (95 off 100 balls) and Tom Latham (103 off 102) produced a brilliant 200-run stand to turn the tables.

Taylor fell after New Zealand had drawn level with India’s total, before Henry Nicholls slapped a first-ball four to confirm victory with an over to spare.

The man-of-the-match knock from Latham, who also had the wicket-keeping responsibilities, was his fourth century in 59 appearances.

It also continued a hot streak in ODIs – Latham has plundered 54, 104, 84 and 103* in his last four matches. It’s a welcome return to form after recording six straight single-figure scores (including three ducks) during the 2016-17 home summer, while his retrenchment to the middle-order may become permanent after a long period as an opener.

Meanwhile, Latham and Taylor’s partnership is New Zealand’s biggest ever against India and their sixth-highest against all nations.

The second India-New Zealand encounter is set down for Wednesday in Pune, where the Black Caps will look to wrap up the three-match series. The teams will then play three T20Is in the first week of November.

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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