India seal tri-series spot
India dominate New Zealand to set up a Sri Lanka showdown in the series final.
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2009 07:18 GMT

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is bowled by Ishant Sharma [AFP]

Sri Lanka and India qualified for the tri-nation limited-overs cricket final after New Zealand crashed out with a six-wicket second match loss to India in Colombo.

The Black Caps batted first after winning the toss and were swiftly bowled out for a paltry 155 runs. India reached their target with more than nine overs to spare and six wickets in hand.

Seamer Ashish Nehra and spinner Yuvraj Singh laid the foundation for India's win, taking three wickets apiece which gave their batsmen a relatively easy target to chase under difficult night-time batting conditions.

Taking control

India suffered an early setback in their chase, losing opener Dinesh Karthik, who was trapped lbw to seam bowler Kyle Mills, when on just seven.

However, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who was playing in his first limited-overs match in nearly two years, combined for a 60-run partnership for the second wicket.

Dravid made 14 before being trapped lbw to seam bowler Jacob Oram. His dismissal triggered a mini collapse as India lost three wickets for 17 runs.

Tendulkar departed on 46 runs that came off 55 balls and included six boundaries. He was caught by Martin Guptill off spinner Daniel Vettori.

ODI scorecard

New Zealand

B McCullum lbw b Nehra 3
J Ryder lbw b Nehra 0
M Guptill c Dravid b Yuvraj 22
R Taylor c Dhoni b Singh 11
G Elliott c Dhoni b Yuvraj 22
J Oram c & b Sharma 24
N Broom c Raina b Yuvraj 21
D Vettori b Sharma 25
K Mills b Singh 6
I Butler c Harbhajan b Nehra 6
S Bond not out 10
Extras 5
Total (all out, 46.3 overs) 155
Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-4 3-19 4-51 5-66 6-101 7-116 8-134 9-142 10-155


D Karthik lbw b Mills 4
S Tendulkar c Guptill b Vettori 46
R Dravid lbw b Oram 14
Y Singh c Guptill b Vettori 8
M Dhoni not out 35
S Raina not out 45
Extras 4
Total (four wickets; 40.3 overs) 156
Fall of wickets: 1-7 2-67 3-71 4-84

Thirteen runs later Yuvraj Singh (8) miscued a shot and was caught by Guptill leaving India on 84-4.

However, captain Mahendra Dhoni and Suresh Raina halted the slide and took their side to victory with an unbroken 72-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Raina made a 54-ball 45 not out which included three boundaries and two sixes. Dhoni was unbeaten on 35.

Good start

Earlier, Nehra provided India with a good start with the ball by dismissing both Black Caps openers who managed four runs between them.

He trapped Jesse Ryder (0) and Brendon McCullum (3) leg-before and returned to dismiss tail ender Ian Bulter and end the New Zealand innings.

Yuvraj capitalised on the momentum provided by Nehra to run through the middle order.

He had Guptill (22) caught by Dravid at slip, Grant Elliot (22) caught behind by captain Dhoni and Neil Broom (21) caught by Raina.

Nehra finished with figures of 3-24 while Yuvraj returned 3-31. RP Singh and Ishant Sharma collected two wickets each.

New Zealand struggled on the slow pitch at R.Premadasa Stadium, resulting in a dearth of partnerships despite a few batsmen making good starts.

Skipper Vettori's 25 off 36 balls was the top-score for the Black Caps.

New Zealand, who lost the series opener earlier this week, had to win the match to have a chance of reaching the final of the short series.

Sri Lanka and India will play a scheduled match on Saturday before Monday's final.

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