At Eden Park, Auckland: India 306-7 (Shreyas Iyer 80, Shikhar Dhawan 72, Shubman Gill 50; Lockie Ferguson 3-59, Tim Southee 3-73) lost to the Black Caps 309-3 in 47.1 overs (Tom Latham 145no, Kane Williamson 94no; Umran Malik 2-66) by seven wickets
Tom Latham timed his innings to perfection in making 145 not out as the Black Caps chased down 307 to beat India by seven wickets in the first of three one-day internationals on Friday night.
He shared in an unbeaten partnership of 221 with captain Kane Williamson, who finished unbeaten on 94 – six runs short of making his first international century in almost 700 days.
At the final drinks break at Eden Park in Auckland, the Black Caps were 163-3, needing 144 runs from 18 overs, with Latham, on 36 off 43, playing second fiddle to Williamson, who was on 64 off 67.
By the time they entered the final 10 overs, the left-hander had zoomed past his captain, bringing up his century off 76 balls at the end of a Shardul Thakur over that went for 25 runs and featured five boundaries.
From there, the Black Caps had the pursuit well under control, wrapping it up with 17 balls to spare. Latham was unbeaten on 145 off 104 – his highest ODI score – and Williamson was still there alongside him on 94 off 98.
The pair had come together with their side 88-3 after 19.5 overs and their unbroken partnership ended up being worth 221 runs off 164 balls, making it the largest for the fourth wicket in New Zealand’s ODI history.
India were sent in when Williamson won the toss, but were untroubled for a long while after that, as his opposite Shikhar Dhawan and fellow opener Shubman Gill put on 124 for the first wicket.
Gill fell for 50 in the 24th over and was soon followed by Dhawan, who made 72.
Rhishab Pant and Suryakumar Yadav both came and went quickly as the Black Caps took 4-36 to peg India back and leave them 160-4 with 17.1 overs remaining.
Shreyas Iyer became their main man from there before falling for 80 in the penultimate over, while Washington Sundar finished not out on 37 off 16 – a late blitz that lifted India over 300.
The Black Caps were below their best with the ball and in the field, dropping Gill, Iyer and Sundar at various stages of their innings.
Tim Southee became the fifth Black Cap to take 200 ODI wickets and finished with 3-73, while Lockie Ferguson took 3-59 in what was easily his best ODI outing this year.
Southee’s fellow new-ball bowler Matt Henry was the standout performer, conceding just 48 runs from 10 wicketless overs – 15 of which came off his last.
The Black Caps’ best piece of work in the field came from Glenn Phillips, who took a fine diving catch deep on the leg-side to dismiss Sanju Samson for 36.
The big moment
Williamson hit the first ball of the fourth over after the final drinks break to mid-wicket, where Dhawan was just unable to get his hands under it. Had the catch stuck, India would have broken what turned out to be the match-winning partnership, and they would have been one wicket away from exposing Mitchell Santner at No. 7. Alas.
Best with the bat
Following the retirement of Ross Taylor and the dropping of Martin Guptill, Latham sits second only to Williamson in terms of importance and experience in the Black Caps’ ODI setup. His innings here was a masterclass in pacing.
Best with the ball
Sundar came closest to breaking the Williamson-Latham partnership, bowling the ball that was hit just short of Dhawan and ended up conceding only 42 runs from his 10 overs, on a night where the average run rate was over six. The inexperience of his seam-bowling teammates showed in the end, as Thakur and debutants Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik went for 197 off 27.1 overs.
The big picture
The Black Caps’ win was their fifth in a row against India in ODIs and leaves them needing just one win from the two remaining matches to take out the series and remain No. 1 on the world rankings. Match two is at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday, with match three to follow at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Wednesday.