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Kiwis level series

New Zealand kept themselves in the series by winning the fourth One-Day International by 19 runs on Wednesday. Chasing a target of 261 in 50 overs, India lost in-form Virat Kohli and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at crucial moments through the scoring rate was not a serious concern. The series is tied at 2-2 with the final match at Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

Kiwis level series
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Virat Kohli plays a cut shot against leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and gets caught by Watling

Ranchi

Opener Rohit Sharma’s poor form continued as Kiwi medium-pacer Southee found the outside edge of his bat for Watling behind the stumps to complete an easy catch. Virat Kohli and Rahane repaired the damage with a 79run partnership that looked like taking India home when leg-spinner Ish Sodhi gave the visitors the most important wicket of the match. Kohli (45) tried to cut the spinner and could only edge it to Watling. 

When Rahane (57) and Dhoni fell inside 30 overs with India needing another 130 runs, the Kiwi bowlers pressed for more wickets and they were rewarded with two in the next three overs. The writing was on the wall for India when Pandya tried to clear Santner over long-off and Latham took a catch on the boundary.

Earlier, Martin Guptill struck a fluent half-century but New Zealand failed to seize the momentum as Indian spinners did well to restrict them to 260 for seven. New Zealand were off to their best start on the tour with Guptill slamming an 84-ball-72 studded with 12 boundaries. Along with Tom Latham (39 from 40 balls; 4x4) he laid a solid foundation putting together 96 from 93 balls for the opening wicket before left-arm spinner Axar Patel (1/38) gave the much-needed breakthrough after a lacklustre performance by the seamers. 

Guptill looked in full flow and completed his 31st ODI fifty from 56 balls but Hardik Pandya ended the threat inducing a thin edge of the Kiwi opener midway into their innings.

With 184/2 after 35 overs and a set Kane Williamson in the middle, New Zealand were still in sight of 300. But Amit Mishra (2/41) took the crucial wickets of Williamson (41 from 59 balls; 4x4) and James Neesham (6) in successive overs to derail the visitors game-plan. 

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