Images courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Williamson and Taylor both scored half-centuries
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scored half-centuries to help New Zealand take a 2-0 lead against India in a rain-affected encounter in Hamilton.
Williamson and Taylor were well supported by all-rounder Corey Anderson, who smashed a quickfire 44 and took three wickets, and pace bowler Tim Southee, who snapped up four wickets.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and chose to bowl first.
His decision to do so paid off as New Zealand opening batsman Jesse Ryder was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for 20.
Martin Guptill and Williamson made up for the early loss of Ryder with an 89-run partnership before Guptill was caught by Shami at short fine leg off the bowling of Suresh Raina for 44.
Williamson and Taylor kept the runs flowing with a 60-run partnership, during which Williamson brought up his half-century.
When Williamson was on 72 and Taylor was unbeaten on 24, the heavens parted and the match was delayed for two hours.
Due to the heavy rain, the match was cut down to 42 overs a side.
However, Williamson only managed to score five more runs before he was stumped by Dhoni off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
Williamson’s fantastic knock of 77 came off 87 balls and included five boundaries and a six.
Taylor and Anderson continued to batter India as they amassed a 74-run partnership, which came at an astounding run rate of 15.85, before Anderson was caught by Shikhar Dhawan at long-on off the bowling of Ishant Sharma.
Anderson’s trailblazing innings of 44 came off just 17 balls and included two boundaries and an incredible five sixes.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught and bowled by Shami to be dismissed for a golden duck.
Taylor ended up making 57 off 56 deliveries, which included seven boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Shami.
Nathan McCullum only made one run before he was clean bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
New Zealand eventually ended on 271/7 off their 42 overs thanks to a quickfire 18 from wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi.
Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers with three wickets, while Kumar, Sharma, Jadeja and Raina all chipped in with one wicket apiece.
With the Duckworth-Lewis method in effect, India were set a target of 297 to win.
They got off to a poor start as Dhawan was clean bowled by Southee for 12.
Rohit Sharma only managed to score 20 runs before he was caught behind to become Southee’s 100th ODI victim.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane stabilised the innings with a 90-run partnership, during which Kohli brought up his half-century, before Rahane was caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan for 36.
Kohli ended up making 78 off 65 balls, which included seven boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Anton Devcich, who was the substitute fielder, at long-on off the bowling of Southee.
Raina and Dhoni kept things on track with a 62-run partnership before Raina was caught by Southee at midwicket off the bowling of Kyle Mills for 35.
Dhoni managed to register his half-century before he was caught by Williamson at backward point off the bowling of Anderson.
Dhoni’s excellent knock of 56 came off 44 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.
Following Dhoni’s dismissal, India’s lower order completely collapsed.
With India down and out at 277/9, the rain returned and the umpires decided the end the match, which gave New Zealand a 15-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Southee was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Anderson picked up three and Mills and McClenaghan chipped in with one wicket each.
Dhoni was disappointed to have lost yet another match, and said: “The NZ fast bowlers, when they bowled the slower ones, it was hard to get them away. It was quite difficult to hit them away consistently and in the end we couldn’t get close to the 290 we needed.
“The last game I got out and this game Virat got out, so it was important to keep continuing to build a partnership as it is hard for the players coming in to play their strokes freely. From the 25th/26th over we should have started to hit out, but it doesn’t always go to plan.
“Yes the fast bowlers did well for us. Bhuvi was good at the death, while Shami has been performing quite consistently. We gave away a few extra runs but that is to be expected with the big hitters they have. It is better for the second team in limited-overs to know the target and what to do.”
McCullum was all smiles as he approached the podium and said: “Yeah it was a good performance. It was outstanding to get the total we did, and that too in a reduced game. We needed all those runs against India’s packed batting. Prior to the weather I thought the batting was outstanding with Ross and Kane. Then Corey came back in today and showed just how much he has learned at this level to give us that momentum going into the second innings. Against the Indian team you know how dangerous their batting is.
“The team has really stepped up and performed well over these last two games. At the end of the day, under pressure, the guys did really well. In big moments he is really stepping up (Corey), and the way he came back with the ball showed his ability.
“Really pleased with the guys’ performance, and I know we will get better and better as the series wears on.”
Williamson was named Man of the Match for his outstanding knock.
“Yeah it’s going alright,” he said. “Just playing the anchoring role in the middle after the big boys get dismissed. It has been quite good and a complete performance from the team. I tried to contribute as much as possible in both of these games. It was great to keep the momentum going for the home team, and we look forward to our next match.”