| GEO Sports|
Kiwis trounce India by 200 runs
| Updated at: 0303 PST, Wednesday, August 11, 2010|
DAMBULLA: New Zealandís plan of loading their side with seamers paid off well as they bullied a carefree Indian top order under lights in Dambulla. It was a script that had worked well for India in the Asia Cup final at the same venue, but this time the shoe was on the wrong foot. New Zealand put the ball in the right places and let the conditions do the rest for them, but they had Indiaís technically inept batsmen to thank for crumbling without a fight.
Virender Sehwag had struggled for runs on this ground during the Asia Cup and it continued here as the two-paced nature of the pitch and the sharp movement threw his timing off-key. To his credit Sehwag tried to see the new ball away, choosing to leave them outside the off stump, as Daryl Tuffey and Kyle Mills got disconcerting bounce from a length despite not bending their backs.
Dinesh Karthik looked more assured and adjusted to the pitch by marking his guard well out of the crease. He unfurled a couple of pleasing boundaries, through the covers and wide of mid on, to calm the early nerves. Sehwag cashed in on the few occasions when the seamers strayed into his business area - short and wide outside off - and India seemed to have survived the early challenge. Things were however about to change quickly.
Tuffey had started his spell with a gentle loosener outside off that Sehwag duly dispatched to the square boundary. He rarely hit 130 kph through his spell, but gradually reworked his lengths to trouble all the batsmen.
Sehwag was the first to go, falling to his old weakness against the short ball aimed at the body. He had already survived a top-edge trying to pull Tuffey but in the seventh over, he gloved Mills through to the keeper. Karthik got a rough decision in the next over, as Tuffey struck his pads with an in-ducker and Simon Taufel upheld the appeal though the batsman was well forward.
In his short stay at the crease, Rohit Sharma had all his weaknesses as a batsman exposed: he flicked one uppishly and perilously close to midwicket, played around his front pad a couple of times before lamely guiding a short ball outside off into Ross Taylorís hands at first slip. Suresh Raina was guilty of indecisive footwork, poking from the crease at another bait outside off from Tuffey to leave India floundering at 50 for 4.
MS Dhoni attempted to stem the rot with singles but Tuffey would not have any of that either, swooping in on a tap to the off side and throwing down the stumps with Dhoni out of his crease after being sent back by the non-striker.
Yuvraj Singh decided to play himself into form by leaving everything outside off, before crunching a pull over midwicket for four. That shot gave him the confidence to go a fuller one outside off and he too stuck to the theme of the night. In less than ten overs, India had lost their top six for 23 runs and the chase was as good as over. Praveen Kumar welcomed Jacob Oram to the crease with a fourth catch into the cordon, putting New Zealand on course for an early finish and a bonus point.