|Indian cricketers Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh celebrate a good day at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur [AFP]|
India captain Gautam Gambhir hit an unbeaten 138 to guide his team to a resounding eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second one-day international on Wednesday in Jaipur.
India now take a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Chasing a 259-run victory target, opener Gambhir smashed 18 fours off 116 balls during his eighth one-day century to help India reach their target of 259 with seven overs to spare.
Gambhir dominated an 87-run opening partnership with Murali Vijay (33) to set the tone for the chase. But it was his 116-run stand with the in-form Virat Kohli (64) for the second wicket which took the match away from New Zealand’s grasp.
Wary of the dew factor, Gambhir asked New Zealand to bat and the Kiwis reached a respectable 258 for eight, a total built around half-centuries from Martin Guptill (70) and Scott Styris (59), with new-ball bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth bagging 4-47.
Sreesanth struck an early blow and then took three wickets toward the end to ensure the hard work of the slow bowlers during the middle overs did not go waste.
|Second ODI scorecard|
New Zealand innings
New Zealand lost opener Jamie How (5) in the fourth over to Sreesanth but Guptill and Styris added 65 runs for the fourth wicket and the tourists notched another couple of half-century partnerships to go past the 250-mark.
Sreesanth removed Styris and captain Daniel Vettori (31), who returned after missing the first match in Guwahati with a back injury, off successive deliveries but was denied a hat-trick by Nathan McCullum.
“It was a competitive score put up by us but we bowled poorly,” said Vettori.
“Gambhir played a very good one-day innings and virtually controlled the match.”
Gambhir, moving well and not afraid to create space on the offside to lift the run-rate, added 87 with opener Vijay, who made a slow 33 off 58 deliveries, then put the team on the road to victory in the company of fellow Delhi player Kohli, with whom he added 116.
Kohli chipped in with 64 off 73 deliveries, hitting eight fours, carrying on the fine form that has seen him score centuries in two consecutive one-day appearances, including a match-winning 105 in the series-opener on Sunday.
“We can’t be complacent and have to be as professional as we can during the remaining matches,” said Gambhir.
“It is always good to have an attacking bowler like Sreesanth in the side and he did well for us today.”
Vadodara hosts the third match on Saturday.