2nd ODI: Williamson, Southee star in final-over win over India

Delhi—It took five matches, but a New Zealand batsman finally recorded a hundred on this tour. Kane Williamson came to the crease in the first over and did not budge until the 43rd. By that time he had 118 runs off 128 balls. The timing of his wicket gave India an opening and they were able to restrict the total to 242 for 9 at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Besides the fact that New Zealand have been unable to win a single match on tour – they have struggled to win tosses too – plenty of challenges came Williamson’s way. Not least of which was his own body refusing to cooperate. He began cramping up in the Delhi heat – and it became contagious. His left forearm caught it first, then his right, and at one point he couldn’t even lift a bottle to drink. But when play resumed, he smacked Hardik Pandya over his head to the long-on boundary.
In the past, when faced with such determination, India’s bowlers have been guilty of switching off. But there were two passages of play – the middle overs and then the final ten – that they simply dominated.
And it was the result of a simple plan – go after Williamson’s partners. Ross Taylor was worked over so completely that it seemed like the ball had a restraining ORDER against the middle of his bat. When it was short and wide, he’d get an inside edge. When it was down leg, he’d miss the flick. He was trying to hit the ball so hard that on one occasion his helmet nearly wobbled off. New Zealand had been chugging along before his entry at the Feroz Shah Kotla – 70 runs between the 11th and 21st over. They could only get 38 runs in the next ten overs, at the culmination of which Taylor fell for 21 off 42 balls.
There was only one over that cost more than six in the final ten. Worse, there was only one boundary – off a tailender’s outside edge – in that period: the result of India beginning this spell of play by dismissing Williamson, and power-hitters Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi in the space of 17 balls.
New Zealand were 158 for 2 in the 31st over. The only impediment to a batsman was that the pitch was slightly slow, but if he could get the ball through the infield, the outfield was quick enough to reward the effort with boundaries. It was an ungainly collapse.
India’s engineering of it was rather clever. MS Dhoni recognised Taylor’s poor form – 89 runs in seven innings on this tour – and used bowlers he trusted to keep things tight. Jasprit Bumrah went for the toes or the ears. Axar Patel’s accuracy – and high pace for a left-arm spinner – made rotating strike difficult. Pandya probed in the off-stump corridor. Having heaped the pressure on, India then brought legspinner Amit Mishra on to bowl wide of off stump to tempt Taylor into his preferred slog sweep. He was caught at deep midwicket.—AFP

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