Broom stars as New Zealand thrash India
New Zealand 301 for 9 (Broom 66, Guptill 63, Ryder 57) beat India 198 (Nayar 41, Oram 2-26, Bond 2-38) by 103 runs
New Zealand managed an impressive 103-run victory against India at Potchefstroom and restored their confidence ahead of the main tournament, having lost to the Warriors on Saturday. Martin Guptill (63) and Jesse Ryder (57) set a strong platform, adding 60 for the second wicket, before Neil Broom let loose. Broom smashed 66 off 46 balls, comprising five fours and four sixes, and figured in two crucial partnerships with Grant Elliott and Daniel Vettori. The Indian fast bowlers were largely ineffective with right-arm spinner Yusuf Pathan ending as India's most successful bowler with 3 for 46.
Chasing 302, the Indian top order never capitalised on their starts. Abhishek Nayar provided some fight, scoring a quick 41, which included six fours, but their pursuit effectively ended when they lost five wickets for 29 runs to slump to 130 for 7. New Zealand shared the wickets around with Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori and Shane Bond taking two apiece, as India were bowled out in the 41st over.
After their disappointing performances in the recently-concluded Compaq Cup in Sri Lanka, which also included India, Broom said it was a good sign that the batting unit had stepped up to the occasion. "It's a massive lift to score 300 runs against one of the best sides in the world," Broom told Radio Sport. "A lot of the boys are putting their hands up for spots in the team now, which is always good."
Indian batsman Rahul Dravid though, said the crushing defeat would not be too much of a concern going into the main tournament. "We shouldn't read too much into it. When the main tournament begins, we will be alright. The conditions in Johannesburg and Centurion will be different. This was a dry surface and it turned straightaway. Spinners bowled 30 overs (of the 50 overs) and that doesn't happen often in these conditions."
India will be spending three days at Potchefstroom before they take on Pakistan in their opening match in Centurion on September 26. Dravid, however, indicated the practice facilities and the actual wicket at Potchefstroom were not ideal for preparations, being too slow and dry. "These are not the best of facilities and it could have been better," he said. "But as international cricketers we do not always get ideal conditions."
Dravid, who opened the innings, hit 37 off 34 balls, including six fours, but said he had hoped to carry on a bit longer. "It was the kind of wicket where, if you get in, you need to make it count. I couldn't do it but I feel good about my form."