More often than not, India vs New Zealand does not bring in the same excitement like India vs Australia or India vs England. The lack of close encounters between these two sides is one of the reason why the clash of these two teams isn’t most sought after.
However, things always aren’t like this in a cricket field. Sometimes it defies expectations of even the most ardent of fans. This match is one of a kind that might harm weak hearted people!
New Zealand was hosting India for a full series involving 2 tests and 5 ODI’s. The first two ODI matches ended in disappointment for India as New Zealand won both of them in comfortable style. India had to win the third game to stay alive in the series.
Venue – Auckland, New Zealand(Day-Night)
Date – 25 Jan 2014
Toss – India (Field First)
Indian captain MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl first. The reason given was that it was easier to chase under lights.
The Kiwi openers Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder started on a quick note. Ryder was looking in a great touch as he smashed 4 fours within no time. However, he got too excited and perished while trying to hit another boundary at the score of 36.
Number 3 batsman Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill then played sensibly and added 153 runs for the second wicket. Seamer Mohd Shami dismissed Williamson by getting him bowled. Meanwhile, Martin Guptill reached a classy century of 123 balls including 11 fours and a six.
In the end, Luke Ronchi played a handy and turbo charged cameo powering New Zealand to a total of 314 from 50 overs.
To win the game and stay afloat in the series, India needed to chase 315 runs and against a quality bowling line up, it was going to be a difficult chase. Would India chase this?
Indian innings started on a good note and at a quick pace. The openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma added 64 runs under 10 overs and gave India a solid platform. It appeared that an exciting match was on the cards as the kiwi bowlers were under pressure.
However, tragedy struck for India as Shikhar Dhawan fell at individual score of 28 when he was looking well set. It created a flutter in the Indian camps as wickets fell like pack of cards. A score of 64-1 quickly became 79-4. India looked down and out.
It was then Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni who gelled at the crease and stopped the flow of wickets. The two added 67 runs for the fifth wicket before Raina was dismissed. At that point of time India required 169 runs in a little more than 22 overs.
MS Dhoni was out after he completed his half century with a total score of 184. The dismissal of Dhoni meant that India’s hopes were fading as just the tail was remaining with more than 130 runs still to win.
India’s number 7 Ravi Ashwin and number 8 Ravi Jadeja started to do the repairing work. The two batters started slowly but eventually increased the pace once they were completely set. They formed a partnership of 85 runs in just around 10 overs.
By the time Ashwin was dismissed, India required just 45 runs in 31 balls. But, both the following batsmen were caught out and when 9th wicket fell, the team required 29 runs off the final 13 balls.
Final over Drama
When the final over begin, 18 runs were required of 6 balls and New Zealand were looking favorites to seal the game. Jadeja was facing Corey Anderson. The first 3 balls from Anderson were spot on and it brought just 6 runs. Now, 12 were required of final 3 balls.
Jadeja had to strike if India were to win this. He duly did what was required by hitting a four. Moreover, the next ball was then pumped by the batsman for a mighty Six! Now only two runs were remaining to win the game.
The last ball of the match was pushed by Jadeja towards Mid off as he ran a single. This single meant that the match was tied and both the teams finished with a score of 314.
In a heart stopping match, India could not win the game but eventually ended up tying it. Hence, they were well and truly alive in the series of 5 match!
For his final over theatrics and all round performances, Ravindra Jadeja was awarded the man of the match.
You can watch the highlights of this match, here -: