India set up ODI series finale after Pune win


Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik each scored a fifty as India levelled the three-match ODI series against New Zealand by easing to comfortable six-wicket win in Pune on Wednesday.

Set a target of 231, opener Dhawan struck 68 while Karthik hit an unbeaten 64 as India reached their target with four overs still to spare.

Dhawan lost his opening partner Rohit Sharma (7) in the fifth over but the left-hander combined with his captain Virat Kohli (29) for a stand of 56 to get the hosts back on track.

Colin de Grandhomme (1-40) was the man that got Kohli’s wicket in the 14th over but Karthik joined Dhawan in the middle and the pair added 66 with the latter bringing up his half-century in off 63 balls.

Fast bowler Adam Mile (1-21) separated the duo when he had Dhawan caught by Ross Taylor but Hardik Pandya hit an important run-a-ball 30 to get India closer to the total.

Even when Pandya fell to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, MS Dhoni (28 not out) made sure there would no wobbles as he kept Karthik company until the end as India bounced back from their six-wicket loss in Mumbai on Sunday.

Earlier, New Zealand were strangled by a disciplined India bowling effort as the tourists could only reach 230/9 in their 50 overs.

Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was pick of the home team’s bowling unit with figures of 3-45 while fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal picked up two wickets each.

Henry Nicholls, batting at number five, top-scored for the Kiwis with 42 while De Grandhomme weighed in with a brisk 41 off 40 balls.

The third and deciding ODI takes place in Kanpur on Sunday.