December 4th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA WIN ODI SERIES
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Gautam Gambhir won the toss at Vadodra Cricket Stadium on Saturday and asked New Zealand to make first use of the pitch. But it was Zahir Khan and Munaf Patel who utilised the moist morning conditions. New Zealand could pile up only 224 runs and it was by no stretch of imagination a fighting score.

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir made the chase look ridiculously easy and maintained his captaincy record also as he produced a Captain’s knock of 126 not out to wipe out the New  Zealand total of 224  runs for 9 wickets with more than ten overs to spare. He cracked his second century on the trot, to power India to a series-clinching nine-wicket victory over New Zealand in the third ODI at Vadodara today.

India  have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

Gambhir, who smashed 16 boundaries with his flicks and drives in the 117 balls he faced, put on 115 runs for the opening wicket with Murali Vijay who made a slow 30 in 50 balls before being run out.

Kohli remained unbeaten on 63 in 70 balls with six fours and two sixes. He also hit the winning runs, a six over long on.

Earlier, New Zealanders  had made a disastrous start by losing their openers within the first five overs and were struggling at 106 for seven before Franklin (72 not out) and Nathan McCullum staged the recovery act with a stand of 94.

New Zealand’s openers gifted their wickets and the middle order could not consolidate a big score even though James Franklin and Nathan McCullum added 94 for the eighth wicket, it was never going to be a fighting total.

Brendon McCullum, who came back into the side today committed suicide and flashed at  a wide ball and was caught by Murli Vijay in the slips.. Martin Guptill ran himself out soon thereafter. McCullum  had made 43 in 53 balls with four fours.

Apart from the eighth wicket pair, only opener Martin Guptill 12 runs and Scott Styris 22 could reach the double figures mark.

Left-handed Franklin batted sensibly after coming in at 49 for 4 in the 16th over even as wickets continued to tumble from the the other end.

For India, Zaheer Khan 2/31, Yusuf Pathan 2/37 and R Ashwin 2/49 shared six wickets among them while Munaf Patel chipped in with one wicket. Spinners Yusuf Pathan and Ashwin claimed 2 for 27 and 2 for 49 respectively.
Later, New Zealand tried to cramp up the off side for Gambhir and found that he was equally adept at scoring through the on side. He flicked the second ball he faced fine for a boundary. In Kyle Mills’ next over, he picked the gap between mid-on and midwicket. In Mills’ next, Gambhir started making room and went into his favorite off side.

Gambhir might have seemed to slow down after reaching his fifty, but he quickly struck the ball in all directions and got to his hundred.

M Vijay didn’t struggle like he did in Jaipur, but had to stay content with being the lesser partner in the opening stand. Virat Kohli came out and trying to repeat his Jaippur feat, scored 63 not out in the company of his captain as India reached home.
There was a lot of bounce for the pace bowlers and bounce and turn for the spinners in the Vadodra pitch.

Zaheer Khan utilized the bounce to the fullest extent in his splendid first spell of seven overs as he made early inroads into the Kiwi top order.
India had won the opening match at Guwahati by 40 runs and then took a 2-0 lead with a thumping eight-wicket victory in the second ODI in Jaipur and with this win at Vadodra  have a 3-0 lead over New Zealand in the ODI series.

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