Black Caps have spring in step after victory

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 06:49 20/01/2014
Tim Southee
Getty Images
GREAT WIN: Fresh from one of their better ODI victories in recent memory, New Zealand arrive in Hamilton with a spring in their legs.

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Fresh from one of their better one-day cricket victories in recent memory, New Zealand arrive in Hamilton with a spring in their step, but feeling for their wounded fast bowler.

The Black Caps go into Wednesday's second ODI at Seddon Park 1-0 up against world No 1 India after a tense 24-run win in Napier where they defended 292-7.

There will be at least one change to the winning side though with 21-year-old fast bowler Adam Milne out for an indefinite period with a side strain.

He shuffled off McLean Park with figures of 1-40 off 7.3 overs, unable to complete his spell which was generally impressive and hostile at a top speed of 153.4kmh.

Captain Brendon McCullum admitted it wasn't looking great for Milne who will almost certainly miss the rest of the series. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI scan on the injury today.

"It was tough for Milney because when you bowl at that pace there's always a risk you're going to get injured," McCullum said.

"I feel for him and he's obviously pretty disappointed. The overs that he gave us were hostile and exactly what we wanted from him."

It means veteran Kyle Mills will return in Hamilton, joining Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee in a pace attack that eventually killed off India.

The tourists were led brilliantly by Virat Kohli whose 18th ODI century, 123 off 111 balls, had India on track for an unlikely victory as long as he was at the crease.

McClenaghan (4-68) broke the key partnership when he bounced out opposing skipper MS Dhoni for 40, then removed Ravindra Jadeja caught behind and snared the big one, Kohli who hit a low full toss to Jesse Ryder to cover.

McCullum hailed his side's "brilliant" ground fielding which saved countless runs, and the concerted short-pitched approach from his pacemen which saw four of India's top-six perish to the hook shot.

Dhoni said his side would keep taking on the short ball, after they were dismissed for 268.

"At times we will be getting caught because it's a difficult shot to play but most of our batsmen like to play the pull shot and we've seen it has been our strength. In the ODIs we play outside India it's still important to try and master it," Dhoni said.

Allrounder Corey Anderson pipped McClenaghan and Kohli for man of the match after key contributions with bat and ball.

He blasted 68 not out off 40 balls in a notable return to form after a flat patch following his world record 36-ball century in Queenstown on January 1.

And with his left-armers the wicket-taking knack returned, snaring dangerman Shikhar Dhawan and India's under pressure No 4 Ajinkya Rahane.

"Something like that in Queenstown, you're always going to go downhill after that," Anderson said of his recent struggles.

"It always plays on your mind a little bit. It's cricket and you're always going to have good days and bad days so as long as you keep on a plateau then you'll be all right."

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He hailed the platform set by Kane Williamson (71) and Ross Taylor (55) who ensured New Zealand were just three wickets down after 35 overs. Anderson, McCullum (30 off 25) and Luke Ronchi (30 off 18) then set New Zealand on track for 300.

"It's nice to have guys coming in with that fearlessness to go from ball one."

Seamer Mohammed Shami (4-55) was impressive but India's spinners Ravi Ashwin and Jadeja weren't a huge factor. They may find conditions more to their liking in Hamilton.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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