At an individual score of 97, Sehwag danced down the pitch and hit a Daniel Vettori delivery over the bowler’s head to bring up his hundred in the 18th over of the rain-truncated match to better Azharuddin by two balls. India Won the series.

A former Indian captain, Azharuddin’s 62-ball 108, had incidentally come against New Zealand in Baroda in 1988. Sehwag finished 125 not out from 74 ball and Gautam Gambhir was 63 not out as India reached 201 without loss in 23.3 overs, replying to New Zealand’s 270 from 47 overs in a rain-affected match. India’s unbroken opening partnership was the largest to win a match in one-day international history. Sehwag had earlier smashed a 69-ball century against the Kiwis in Colombo in 2001. The Indian now has the seventh fastest hundred in ODI history, with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi topping the chart with his 37-ball 102 against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1996.

is time the pitches are so flat and good to bat on.” Sehwag blasted 14 fours and six sixes in an innings which, around three rain interruptions, occupied only 139 minutes. He rushed to a half century from 31 balls and helped India reached 100 in 54 minutes from 69 balls. Sehwag passed his century in 87 minutes with 13 fours and four sixes, adding his second 50 from only 29 balls.

Two rain interruptions during New Zealand’s innings left them facing only 47 overs and they seemed to have achieved a competitive total of 270 for five. Brendon McCullum made 77 in an opening partnership of 102 with Jesse Ryder (46) then, after a middle order collapse which saw five wickets fall for 73 runs, Peter McGlashan and Grant Elliott added 95 from 61 balls in an unbeaten stand for the sixth wicket.

Advertisements

Century seems to have become Sachin Tendulkar’s middle name. And that is what he did on Sunday to deliver the knockout punch to the Kiwis in their own backyard. A majestic 163 (retd hurt) by the maestro saw India post 392 in their allotted 50 overs, his innings studded with 16 fours and garnished with 5 monstrous hits into the stands. New Zealand fought hard and gave India a run for their money as they ended up scoring 334 before they lost their last wicket in the form of Tim Southee and losing by only 58 runs even after being set a target of 393 in fifty overs. Cricket surely was a winner at Christchurch. Sachin Tendulkar was named the man-of the-match for his breath taking innings of 163 not out. After losing Sehwag (3) and Gambhir (15) cheaply, the Master Blaster manoeuvred his heavy willow with utmost perfection to make the Black Caps swing to his tunes. The Mumbaikar brought up his 43rd ODI century off 101 balls and later went to score 163 off 133 deliveries before he had to walk back to the pavilion due to a muscle pull in the abdomen. Enter Yuvraj and boundaries started to rain. 87 off just 60 deliveries was the damage that the left handed batsman did to New Zealand. Out of the 87 that he scored, 76 were in boundaries (10×4, 6×6). Sadly, the Kingsmead marauder did not get to his three figure mark but paved way for captain MS Dhoni to come to the crease and free his arms. New Zealand were left gasping for breath and cover by the devastating Yuvraj who had taken the Kiwi bowlers to the cleaners and brought up his fifty off just 42 balls. He had brought up his half century with an extremely humungous hit, a six that could well have brought down an air hostess with it. Dhoni played a captain’s innings rotating the strike and sending the loose deliveries to the advertising boards. He departed after scoring 68 but the scoring rate did not dip. Raina contributed 38 from 18. New Zealand started off extremely well with Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder providing New Zealand with the perfect start. The Kiwis were cruising at 156 for no loss after 20 overs and suddenly seemed to lose the plot as they lost seven wickets till 218. Ryder (105) had blasted off to his maiden century off just 72 deliveries and McCullum departed after 71 from 68 balls. Suddenly a couple of run outs and an improvement in the fielding saw India run riot into the New Zealand middle order to reduce them to 251/8. It was then that the improbable seemed quite achievable. Kyle Mills (52 off 34) and Tim Southee (32 off 20) joined hands and put up an 83 run partnership for the 9th wicket to give the Kiwis an outside chance of creating history. Well, there were quite a few records that were created. This was Sachin Tendulkar’s first ODI century in New Zealand. He looked all set to overhaul Saeed Anwar’s record of 194 runs but had to walk away in the 46th over. There were 31 sixes hit in the match, a world record. India now lead the five match series 2-0 with two more matches to go which means, they cannot lose the series from here on. The next match will be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton on March 11