Bond destroys India

After the sheer carnage dealt by New Zealand’s batsmen on Wednesday, the second ODI between New Zealand and India was billed as the first real contest in this one-day tournament. When Shane Bond finished his seventh over, he had 5 for 13, India were 40 for 8, the contest effectively over. Some late heroics by Jai P Yadav and Irfan Pathan restored respectability to the total, putting on 119 for the ninth wicket, however Bond was brought back and ended India’s slim hopes almost immediately.

New Zealand began the day poorly, as Ashish Nehra and Pathan bowled beautifully in the first 15 overs. Both bowlers offered little room for the opposition top order, experimenting with swing and line across the batsmen. Pathan had all three of his victims trapped in front, beginning with Lou Vincent in the second over. Nehra had Stephen Fleming caught behind and Astle caught rooted to the crease. Pathan then took the wickets of Hamish Marshall and Scott Styris with inswingers, leaving New Zealand reeling at 36 for 5 in just the 13th over.

Often New Zealand’s lower order has resurrected a disappointing top-order performance in recent past; today was no exception. Once Agit Agarkar was brought on, the Black Caps began to piece back the innings, as he offered half volleys and length balls at a gentle pace. He conceded 17 runs off three overs, and the momentum swung back to the New Zealanders.

Craig McMillan and Jacob Oram batted sensibly, gradually increasing their scoring shots once they played themselves in. McMillan launched into some searing drives into Yadav in particular, playing one of his best one-day innings’ in recent times to play his side back into the match. Oram took to Harbhajan Singh, dismissing him over long-on and long-off. Oram was run-out for 36 and McMillan fell soon after for 54, leaving New Zealand at 130 for 7.

Chris Cairns joined Brendon McCullum and simply increased the tempo further. McCullum has been in scintillating touch of late, and continued that today with a quick-fire 49. Cairns was dismissed just as he was looking threatening for 20, however McCullum continued to flay away until he was final man out with 7 overs still to bat and the score on 215.

If first overs provide foreshadowing of an innings, Bond’s lightening opening to Sourav Ganguly was certainly one of those. Searing pace and deadly accuracy ruffled the former Indian captain from the get-go, the delivery on him before he could register a stroke. Bond got his man, Ganguly caught behind down the leg-side off a short-pitched delivery. Venugopal Rao was undone very next ball by a stunning in-swinging yorker that cannoned into his middle stump. The usually dependable Rahul Dravid attempted a cut stroke from a shortish ball and chopped it on; Mohammad Kaif uppercut one down to third man. Bond completed his spell when Virender Sehwag slashed one to a diving Hamish Marshall at point. Bond had five, India were down for the count.

Andre Adams cashed in at the other end as the pressure applied from Bond resulted in slashes across the line, as he picked up three wickets. At 44 for 8, Yadav and Pathan constructed a partnership that threatened to give India some hope. Yadav looked especially useful with assured stroke play, while Pathan continued his promise as a lower order batsman. When Bond was brought back in the 37th over, the end fell within two overs.

Bond is well and truly back. Pace, fire and brimstone combined with unmatched control and accuracy. As second chances go, Bond is certainly making his mark.

Score Summary

New Zealand 215 (C McMillan 54, B McCullum 49, J Oram 36, I Pathan 3/34, A Nehra 2/22, A Agarkar 2/45)

India 164 (Jai P Yadav 69, I Pathan 50, S Bond 6/19, A Adams 3/37)

New Zealand won by 51 runs.

Cricket Web Player of the Match: Shane Bond with 6 for 19.

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