New Delhi: India defeated New Zealand by 45 runs(D/L) in a rain-curtailed warm up match ahead of the Champions Trophy. There were plenty of positives to take for India, as key players found form ahead of the tournament.
Chasing just 190 to win, India was comfortably placed at 129/3, with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni batting when rain interrupted play.
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first, but it was the Indian bowlers who dominated the proceedings early on. Mohammed Shami found his rhythm. and picked up three wickets to put the Kiwis on the back-foot right from the start. First to go was Martin Guptill, followed by skipper Kane Williamson and Neil Broom as New Zealand top-order crumbled - all accounted for by Shami.
Hardik Pandya surprisingly shared the new ball with Shami, but was expensive as he pitched the ball short instead of pitching it up to the batsman. Pandya conceded 49 from his 6 overs, the only Indian bowler with an economy above 6.
Luke Ronchi provided some fight, scoring a gritty 66. If it was pace that got the top-order, spin came into play and got the better off the middle-order. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three wickets between them, conceding just 40 runs.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar then came back to dismiss the tail, getting three wickets as New Zealand were dismissed for 189 runs.
India lost Rahane early, but Kohli and Dhawan came together to stitch a 68-run partnership to take the game away from the Blackcaps. Dhawan looked good in his 40, but it was skipper Virat Kohli who would have delighted the Indian fans. Kohli batted fluently, and seemed to have found his timing, as he dominated the bowling. He hit six glorious boundaries,before rain interrupted play. A couple of straight drives - off Milne and Southee - were a pure delight to watch
In between, comeback man Dinesh Karthik was dismissed for a duck. MS Dhoni batted only 21 balls, and India will be hoping to give the middle-order and the lower order a bigger run in the next game.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson would be disappointed by his team's performance as the Kiwis looked lackluster on the field. They dropped catches, and never looked like providing any fight to India. Some questionable shots were also played by the batsmen.
India will now play Bangladesh in the second warm-up match, while New Zealand will face-off against Sri Lanka. Both the games will be played on May 30.