India recovered some lost ground towards the end but New Zealand still scored an imposing 314 all out, riding on Martin Guptill’s century in the third ODI on Saturday.
Ross Taylor (17), Nathan McCullum (1) and Luke Ronchi (38) were out in the space of nine balls to put brakes on New Zealand’s push for a huge total.
It was a different experience for the Indian attack this time around, conceding only 81 runs in the last 10 overs. Only 33 runs had come off the second Powerplay with two wickets lost therein, and it had set up this good finish for the Indians.
Guptill’s 129-ball 111 and Kane Williamson’s 74-ball 65, however, took New Zealand to 314 all out in their stipulated 50 overs at the Eden Park.
Guptill hit 12 fours and two sixes and put on 153 runs for the second-wicket with Williamson even as the Indian bowlers fought back to bowl the hosts out.
It was a much improved bowling performance from the visitors, who are 0-2 down in the five-match series and are desperate to win their first ODI in the last six matches overseas.
Mohammad Shami (2/84) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/47) were the pick of the bowlers, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/48), Varun Aaron (1/52) and R. Ashwin (1/47) chipping in with a wicket each.
Kumar and Shami began the proceedings for India and they were a little bothered initially with the purchase they received from the Eden Park pitch. It allowed Guptill and Jesse Ryder (20) to make another quick start, as 32 runs came off the first four overs.
But, Ryder failed again to get going after an initial burst, bowled by Kumar in the fifth over, as the ball moved in past his bat, onto his pads and took the leg-stump.
It brought Williamson to the crease and he did not let up in his golden run of form. He got into his groove quickly after seeing off a hostile spell from Shami wherein he was hit on the helmet in the beginning of his innings.
Williamson was dropped on 62 by Raina off the bowling of Shami but he could add just three runs before getting out to the same bowler in the 33rd over.
Corey Anderson walked out to bat at number four, ahead of Taylor, in a bid to make use of the small ground and push the score in the range of 350. But the move backfired.
Ashwin bowled Anderson for just eight runs, his first wicket in international cricket since he got Quinton de Kock in the Durban ODI in South Africa.
The batting Powerplay was taken in the 35th over of the innings and Guptill went on to complete his fifth ODI hundred next over.
The Indian fielders were in action again running out Taylor and then catching Ronchi. In between, skipper Brendon McCullum played a loose shot and was caught by Ashwin off Aaron, out again for a duck, as the Kiwis lost six wickets for 90 runs.