Gambhir’s unbeaten ton helps India beat Kiwis by eight wickets (Roundup)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

JAIPUR - Stand-in cricket captain Gautam Gambhir struck a flawless unbeaten century as India beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the second One-day International here Wednesday to go two-up in the five-match series.

Chasing a target of 259, Gambhir remained unbeaten on 138 from 116 balls, as India achieved the target in 43 overs.

Gambhirs decision to bowl first also proved right as S. Sreesanth claimed four wickets to restrict New Zealand to 258 for eight in 50 overs at the Swai Mansingh Stadium.

While chasing, Gambhir and Murali Vijay (33) dominated with their 87-run opening partnership, that set the tone. With the in-form Virat Kohli (64), Gambhir was also involved in 116-run stand for the second wicket that took the match beyond New Zealand’s reach.

Earlier, while batting, New Zealand, who were three wickets down for 96 runs, revived their innings through opener Martin Guptill (70) and Scott Styris (59) to put up a respectable total.

New Zealand lost their first wicket with just 14 runs on the board when Sreesanth had Jamie How caught behind.

The Indian pace trio — Sreesanth (4-47), Ashish Nehra (1-45) and Munaf Patel (1-34) — bowled a disciplined line, not allowing Guptill and Kane Williamson to score freely.

New Zealand were 62 for the loss of one wicket in 15 overs, before Williamson, who made 29 off 46 balls, found his stumps rattled by a typical Munaf delivery that nipped back and went through the gate.

Ross Taylor (15) failed to cash in on the dropped chance by R. Ashiwn and could add only 32 runs with Guptill, before Yusuf Pathan removed him through his first ball, caught by Kohli at mid-wicket.

Guptill, who struck three fours and a six in his 102-ball stay, and Styris then dropped anchor to add 65 runs. Styris hit five fours and a six in 56 balls.

Ashiwn dismissed Guptill and India bowled well in the slog overs to put skids on New Zealand scoring.

Sreesanth got the wickets of Jamie How, Styris, Daniel Vettori (31) and Kyle Mills.

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