Auckland: Tom Latham left thanking his lucky stars after smashing a majestic century to lead New Zealand to a seven-wicket victory over India in Friday’s international opener in Auckland.
Latham hit 19 fours and five sixes in an unbeaten innings of 145 runs off 104 balls. It was his seventh ODI century and his highest score for the format.
“It was one of those days where it all comes together. I don’t really know where that came from – the stars lined up and things fell into place,” Latham said of his man-of-the-match innings.
The Black Caps were set on 307 to win at Eden Park before Latham and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson put together a winning partnership of 221 runs.
“We were running a short distance and that’s where Latham attacked us,” said India’s captain, Shekhar Dhawan.
“We couldn’t make a breakthrough when the partnership was in place. Latham took the game away from us and that’s when the momentum changed.”
Williamson finished with 94 not out as New Zealand took one up in the ODI series, after losing the Twenty20 series to India.
“It was an incredible hit from Tommy (Latham) – he was absolutely on fire,” said Williamson.
“We were talking in the middle about just going overboard, but then he just hit the switch.
“It was one of the most special ODI strikes I’ve seen and it was good to be at the other end to witness it.”
Having batted New Zealand in, India put on 306 and then did not allow the New Zealand openers to settle as the chase began. Finn Allen then Devon Conway stepped up to goalkeeper Rishabh Pant.
India made their ODI debuts to legendary bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik, who celebrated with the wickets of Conway and Daryl Mitchell in quick succession as New Zealand battled to 88-3.
However, it soon turned into a miserable evening for India’s bowlers.
Williamson made an impressive array of shots, including a 79-meter six.
He was well supported by Latham, in whom confidence grew as the pair broke the momentum of the Indian bowling and took New Zealand to the finish line.
Earlier, India’s captain Dhawan built up an impressive opening partnership of 124 with Shubman Gill.
Dhawan smashed 13 quadruples making 72 runs off 77 balls before being caught off the bowling of Tim Southee, who took his 200th ODI wicket for New Zealand.
India’s run rate slowed as Pant and then Suryakumar Yadav were dismissed, leaving the visitors on 160-4.
New Zealand won the toss
Dhawan (c) c allen b southie 72
Jill C Conway B Ferguson 50
Rishabh Pant † B Ferguson 15
Yadav J Allen B Ferguson 4
Samson C Phillips B Milne 36
Washington Sundar not out 37
Thakur J† Latham B Southee 1
Extras: (b 2, lb 1, w 8) 11
Overall: 50 Ov (RR: 6.12) 306/7
Not batted: Imran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal
Falling wickets: 1-124, 2-124, 3-156, 4-160, 5-254, 6-300, 7-306
Bowling: Tim Southey 10-0-73-3, Matt Henry 10-1-48-0, Lucky Ferguson 10-1-59-3, Mitchell Santner 10-0-56-0, Adam Milne 10-0-67 1
New Zealand tours
Allen J† Pant B Thakur 22
Conway J Pant B Imran 24
Williamson (c) 94 not out
Mitchell CDG Hooda B Imran 11
Extras: (3 lbs, NB 2, W 8) 13
Total: 47.1 over (RR: 6.55) 309/3
Not hit: Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Tim South, Lucky Ferguson
Falling wickets: 1-35, 2-68, 3-88
Bowling: Arshdeep Singh 8.1-0-68-0, Shardul Thakur 9-1-63-1, Washington Sundar 10-0-42-0, Imran Malik 10-0-66-2, Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-67 0
Match result: New Zealand won by 7 wickets
Player of the match: Tom Latham
Judges: Chris Brown, Chris Gavani