A magical spell of swing bowling from Trent Boult saw New Zealand thrash India by 8 wickets in the fourth one day international on Thursday, thus helping the home side to register their first win of the series. Boult bowled his ten overs in one go upfront, and claimed 5/21 as he wrecked the Indian top and middle order in helpful conditions at Seddon Park.
India included debutant Shubman Gill and Khaleel Ahmed in place of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami, while the home side brought in Matt Henry, James Neesham and Todd Astle for Lockie Ferguson, Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi respectively.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the Kiwis drew first blood, with Boult trapping the in-form Shikhar Dhawan LBW in the sixth over.
Stand in skipper Rohit Sharma, playing his 200th match, was Boult’s second scalp, as he was caught and bowled for just 7.
Colin De Grandhomme then got into the act by claiming Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik for ducks in a span of four balls in the 11th over. Both dismissals could be said to be soft, with Rayudu going for an expansive drive and Karthik edging a wide one to the keeper.
Debutant Shubman Gill showed touches of class in his innings, but was pinged on the head by a Boult bouncer, and eventually fell to the same bowler- a dismissal not too dissimilar to the way Rohit Sharma had perished.
Another Boult inswinger also accounted for Kedar Jadhav, with the batsman reviewing but in vain. All rounder Hardik Pandya hit three fours off Boult to take India past 54 (their previous lowest score) before he became the left armer’s fifth victim, gloving one tamely to Latham.
With India tottering at 55/8, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav added 25 runs for the ninth wicket stand to lend the innings an air of respectability. Kuldeep fell while attempting to sweep spinner Astle while No.11 Khaleel was castled by James Neesham as India were bowled out for 92. Chahal’s unbeaten 18 made him the highest scorer in the Indian innings.
Boult was New Zealand’s best bowler as he claimed 5/21 in his allotted 10 overs, while De Grandhomme bagged 3 wickets.
Chasing a small target of 93 runs, Martin Guptill started the innings with a flourish by taking 14 runs of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first three balls, before being caught by Pandya on the very next delivery.
Williamson was Kumar’s next victim as he was dismissed for 11 runs, but there was precious little otherwise for India’s bowlers to celebrate as Henry Nicholls and Ross Taylor saw their team home. Taylor hit three sixes in his 25 ball 37 as the Black Caps managed to achieve their target in 14.4 overs, thus inflicting upon India their heaviest ever defeat in terms of balls remaining.
Unsurprisingly, Boult’s 5/21 earned him the Man of the Match.
The fifth and final one day international will be played in Wellington on February 3.