MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Tom Latham hit a masterful unbeaten hundred and added 200 in a stand with Ross Taylor to help New Zealand to a comfortable six-wicket victory over India in the first one-day international at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Chasing 281 for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, the touring side reached their target with six balls to spare on a hot and humid night at the ground overlooking the Arabian Sea.
Latham remained unbeaten on 103 while Taylor was out on 95 with the side just one run away from the win.
India captain Virat Kohli hit 121 off 125 deliveries to register his 31st century in ODIs and anchor the hosts to 280 for eight after winning the toss and opting to bat.
New Zealand’s chase got off to a decent start with an opening stand of 48 between Martin Guptill and Colin Munro but India fought back with three quick wickets to reduce them to 80 for three.
With the hosts boasting wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in their bowling armoury, few would have placed a wager on New Zealand winning from that stage but Taylor and Latham had other ideas.
Chahal and Yadav played a big part in India winning nine of their last 10 ODIs against Sri Lanka and Australia but the New Zealand batting pair made them ineffective, using powerful sweep shots and deft placements.
The 25-year-old Latham brought up his fourth ODI hundred in 95 balls, his innings studded with eight fours and two sixes.
Earlier, New Zealand paceman Trent Boult gave his side an ideal start with the ball in his first spell, sending back India openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma cheaply while conceding just seven runs in his five overs.
Kedar Jadhav then fell for 12 to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, reducing India to 71-3 and leaving Kohli to rebuild the innings through a 73-run fourth-wicket stand with Dinesh Karthik.
Kohli, who was dropped on 29 by Santner off seamer Colin de Grandhomme, also added 57 for the fifth wicket with former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25).
Boult returned to peg back India with the wickets of Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, who made 16, and finished with figures of 4-35 from his 10 overs.
Playing his 200th 50-over match, Kohli brought up his three-figure mark with a single off Southee, overtaking former Australia batsman Ricky Ponting to climb to second spot on the list of most ODI hundreds behind Sachin Tendulkar (49).
Kohli, who will turn 29 next month, hit nine boundaries and two sixes before falling to Southee in the final over of India’s innings.
Pune will host the second ODI on Wednesday.