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Spinners restrict New Zealand to 260 for 7

Martin Guptill struck a fluent half-century but New Zealand failed to seize the momentum as Indian spinners did well to restrict them to a modest 260 for 7 in the penultimate ODI cricket match of the five-match series at Ranchi.

Spinners restrict New Zealand to 260 for 7
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Amit Mishra celebrates with MS Dhoni after dismissing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

Ranchi

Opting to bat, New Zealand were off to their best start n 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 gameplan.

Williamson was foxed by the bounce and took an edge to Dhoni, while Neesham's mistime found Kohli at cover as India did well to arrest their progress.

Patel returned with tidy figures of 1 for 38 from his quota, while part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav returned wicketless but conceded just 27 runs from his eight overs to put brakes on New Zealand's brisk start.

Kiwi skipper Williamson not only read the coin rightly for the first time in the series after three Tests and three ODIs, but he also read the pitch perfectly and opted to bat on a slow pitch with variable bounce.

Having started off with a maiden, India courtesy Kulkarni leaked 16 runs in the second over, a trend that continued till the powerplay with Guptill and Latham batting with ease against some lacklustre bowling by the seamers.

Brought in place of an indisposed Jasprit Bumrah in the solitary change to India XI, Kulkarni bowled full on a slow surface and Guptill, having assessed the condition in the first over, hit three exquisite boundaries to start off.

Yadav bowled with pace but the accuracy was missing and often was wayward down the leg trying to get across the line against the lefthanded Latham to a packed offside field.

The left and right hand easily dissected the field with boundaries all around the wikcet and Dhoni continued with this pair for 10 overs before Mishra and Patel were brought in.

From 80 without loss in 10 overs, the spin duo's tight bowling brought the run-rate down before Patel gave the breakthrough denying Latham (39) a sixth fifty on this tour.

The left-hander took a top edge while trying for a slog sweep to a width deliery before Rahane took the catch at short fine leg.

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