Lights out for India as New Zealand bag opening one-dayer

9 January 1999

TAUPO, New Zealand, Jan 9 (AFP) - New Zealand beat India by five wickets in the opening day-night cricket international at Owen Delany Park here Saturday after a floodlight failure left the Kiwis a reduced victory target.

In reply to India's 257, New Zealand were 168 for three off 30.4 overs when the floodlights malfunctioned causing a 50 minute delay.

New Zealand's target was recalculated to just 33 runs off 8.2 overs and those runs were knocked off with little trouble, the winning runs coming with an over to spare leaving the home team at 200 for five.

Indian captain Mohammad Azahruddin said it was frustrating to come out on the wrong side of a re-calculation but players had to learn to cope with the disappointment.

``They are the conditions for the World Cup so we have to get used to them,'' Azharuddin said, after the match in the North Island town of Taupo.

``It is not ideal but I have no major complaints. It was just unfortunate that it happened at such a crucial time.''

The match was evenly poised with India having just dismissed danger man Craig McMillan for 73 when the floodlights went out.

On the third ball after the re-start Chris Cairns was caught at long off for 23 but Adam Parore and Chris Harris steered New Zealand to within six runs of the target.

After Harris was run out for 13, Dion Nash joined Parore and they strolled to the winning score.

The feature of New Zealand's run chase was a 105-run partnership between McMillan and Matthew Horne.

Horne made 57 off 62 balls and McMillan 73 off 115 balls.

Earlier, Rahul Dravid scored his third century in six days against New Zealand.

After scores of 190 and 103 not out in the second test, Dravid again turned on the class to score 123 not out, his hundred coming in 112 balls and including eight fours.

India scored 83 in the final 10 overs with Robin Singh snr and Hrishikesh Kanitkar striking boldly in the late overs.

New Zealand were handicapped in the field by the loss of captain Stephen Fleming to a groin injury.

Fleming hobbled off in the 35th over and is in doubt for the remaining four games in the series.

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