Sehwag stars in abandoned fixture
Having comfortably won a rain-hit match in Napier, India were left
frustrated by the elements in Wellington. Virender Sehwag and Sachin
Tendulkar gave them the perfect start, but three interruptions reduced
their innings, and the match, to 28.4 overs
India 188 for 4 (Tendulkar 61, Sehwag 54) v New Zealand
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
Virender Sehwag gave India a quick start once again
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|Having comfortably won a rain-hit match in Napier, India were left frustrated by the elements in Wellington. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar gave them the perfect start, but after three interruptions, the match was abandoned after just 28.4 overs. India lost Sehwag to a poor umpiring decision, but with Tendulkar accelerating rapidly after his departure, they had raced to 130 for 1 from 19 overs when a steady drizzle forced the players off the first time. Sehwag was in breathtaking form once again, pounding out 54 from 35 balls before Evan Watkin declared him out caught behind off the flap of the pad.
India started purposefully, with the ball being hit into the gaps and
singles being scampered. Sehwag soon injected even more urgency with two
carves through point off Iain O'Brien, the second of which just whizzed
past the man stationed there. He enjoyed some good fortune too, as O'Brien
misjudged a catch at fine leg after he had top-edged a pull off Kyle
Mills. The bowler's sense of anguish deepened as he was then twice clouted over
midwicket, before Sehwag ended the over by crashing one through point.
Ian Butler was on as early as the seventh over, but the others continued
to struggle. O'Brien was pulled twice, the second one just clearing the
rope to bring up the 50 of the innings. By then, Sehwag was struggling
with some pain in his left leg, but it didn't prevent him from playing a
glorious cover-drive as he raised his half-century in just 32 balls.
India had 65 from the first 10 overs when Suresh Raina arrived as runner,
and Daniel Vettori delayed the bowling Powerplay. But once Sehwag departed
shaking his head in disbelief, Vettori took it. India had 78 from 13 overs
at the time, and the new set of fielding restrictions prompted Tendulkar
to unveil his attacking repertoire. Butler had been impeccable until then, but when Mills put down a tough chance high to his right at mid-on,
the tenor of the game changed.
Tendulkar walloped the next ball over midwicket for six and followed it
with a gorgeously timed cover-drive. Jacob Oram was then lofted over cover
and creamed through midwicket as he went from sedate to hectic in the
twinkling of an eye. A magnificent off-drive took him to his half-century
from 57 balls - at one stage, he had 14 from 37 - as India scored 42 from
The break suited New Zealand though, with Vettori bringing himself on
immediately after the resumption. Though Gautam Gambhir swung him over
midwicket for four in his opening over, the breakthrough came soon after.
Tendulkar missed a sweep and was trapped in front for 61 (69 balls).
Yuvraj Singh didn't trouble the scorers, deflecting a Mills delivery
straight into Ross Taylor's hands at a wide slip. Vettori had placed the
man there just two balls earlier, and suddenly things weren't going all
Rain took the players off again after 24 overs and an over after they
returned, India took their three-over batting Powerplay. Gambhir's brisk
30 ended with a loft to deep cover, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Raina
struck a few meaty blows to ensure that New Zealand would have a stiff
Duckworth-Lewis target to chase down. Unfortunately, the rain didn't stay
Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo