5th Match: India v New Zealand at Colombo, 26 Jul 2001
Rex Clementine

India innings: 15 overs, 30 overs,
Pre-game: Toss and teams,
New Zealand innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, 50 overs,


Sharp fielding and careless batting by the Indian batsmen put New Zealand in a strong position in the fourth match of the Coca Cola Cup at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. At the end of the 30th over India were struggling at 109 for five with Yuvraj Singh on 26 and Reetinder Sodhi on seven.

After the early loss of Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, who were back in the pavilion with nine runs on the board, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid put up a 50 run partnership for the third wicket before Sehwag was unfortunately run out.

Sehwag was at the non-striker's end when Daniel Vettori who was bowling dived to his right to stop a shot from Dravid. He stopped the ball and having seen Sehwag out of his crease threw the ball to the wicket and the third umpire ruled that the batsman was out of his crease after taking a while. He made 33 in 54 balls with three boundaries.

Hemang Badani playing in this game for Amay Khurasiya came at the fall of Sehwag. He made six before trying to loft Daniel Vettori and offered a catch to Craig McMillan. At that stage India were in trouble with four wickets down for 66. Yuvraj Singh joined Rahul Dravid.

Yuvraj edged the very first ball he faced from Dion Nash but the ball fell just short of Adam Parore behind the stumps. In the same over he edged Nash again but this time the ball was wide of first slip.

The pair put on a 33 run partnership for the 5th wicket before Dravid was dismissed in a rare manner. The batsman, trying to work Jacob Oram's delivery to the leg side on the back foot, completely missed the ball and the ball struck his pads and went on to dislodge the stumps. He was gone for 27 in 56 balls.


India lost skipper Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman early chasing New Zealand's modest score of 200 in 47 overs. The Indians need a further 145 runs in 32 overs maintaining a run rate of 4.53 an over.

India once again experimented with their opening combination for the third time in the series. This time Virender Sehwag came in with skipper Saurav Ganguly.

However changing the combination didn't help this time either. The Indians got off to a bad start as Kyle Mills trapped skipper Saurav Ganguly leg before as the batsman played on the front foot. The Indian captain looked unhappy with the decision of umpire Gamini Silva. He made just four in eight balls with one boundary.

VVS Laxman walked in at the fall of Ganguly. Laxman could make only one before he dragged a Darryl Tuffey delivery onto his stumps. The scoreboard read nine for two at that stage.

India's 50 runs came in 13.4 overs. At the end of the 15th over, they had moved up to 56 for two with Rahul Dravid on 16 and Virender Sehwag on 32.


A crucial knock by Dion Nash down the order helped New Zealand set India a target of 201 to win the fifth match of the Coca Cola Cup at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Nash who came in for this game in place of Grant Bradburn made 42 off 57 deliveries to help New Zealand to 200 in 46.4 overs.

New Zealand were struggling at the end of the 30th over with five wickets down for 126 runs. They fell into further trouble when Chris Harris, the last recognized New Zealand batsman at the crease, perished to give Yuvraj Singh his fifth wicket of the Coca Cola Cup, Hemang Badani taking the catch. New Zealand were 143 for seven when Harris was out.

But Daniel Vettori who came to the crease at the fall of Harris batted sensibly along with Dion Nash to push the New Zealand score past 185. The pair put on 43 runs for the eighth wicket in 44 balls and the partnership ended when Vettori was declared leg before wicket going for a reverse sweep off Virender Shewag. Vettori made 19 in 20 balls and 27 minutes with a six.

Ganguly brought back Zaheer Khan in the 42nd over of the match from the Khettarama End and the bowler sent back Kyle Mills to the pavilion immediately. Mills going for a pull mistimed the ball and Khan diving forward took a brilliant one-handed catch. He made just two.

Dion Nash batted brilliantly and if not for his 42 in 57 balls with three boundaries, New Zealand's score of 200 would have been much less. In the bowling department, skipper Saurav Ganguly led from the front claiming three crucial wickets for 32 runs in nine overs. Yuvraj Singh too made things difficult for the Black Caps, claiming two wickets, giving away just 24 runs in his allotted 10 overs.


New Zealand slumped from 85 for one to 126 for six in the 30th over as Indian captain Saurav Ganguly justified his decision to field first by getting rid of the backbone of the New Zealand batting line-up. Ganguly who took up proceedings from the Maligawatta End in the 17th over of the match bowled unchanged and had figures of 7-1-24-3.

Ganguly was well supported by Yuvraj Singh who bowled from the Khettarama End. Both the bowlers slowed the scoring rate as well. New Zealand's batsmen could score only 44 runs from the 15th to the 30th overs.

Initially, Jacob Oram threatened to take the attack to the Indians as he punished the bowlers to all parts of the ground. He gave away his wicket going for the reverse sweep off Harbhajan Singh with a slip in place. Rahul Dravid took the catch diving to his left to send the hard hitting batsman to the pavilion for 40 in just 37 balls with five fours and a six.

Skipper Saurav Ganguly dismissed Matthew Sinclair with the batsman on 36. The opener, driving Ganguly on the on-side, found the hands of Raul Dravid at short extra cover. He made 36 in 71 deliveries with three boundaries. New Zealand's 100 runs came in the 22nd over in 96 minutes.

The Indian skipper also accounted for the wicket of stand-in New Zealand captain, Craig McMillan when the batsman drove him straight into the hands of Hemang Badani at mid-on.

His third victim was Lou Vincent, the right hander driving lazily on the back foot, found VVS Laxman at mid-off. He made 16 and departed with New Zealand on 125.

Yuvraj Singh tightened things up further for the Kiwis when he sent back wicketkeeper batsman Adam Parore clean bowled for a duck with the Black Caps struggling on 126 for six.


Indian captain, Saurav Ganguly would have cursed his decision to insert the opposition in the fifth match of the Coca Cola Cup at R. Premadasa Stadium. Despite losing Nathan Astle early, New Zealand went on to score 82 runs at the end of 15 overs. For the Black Caps, Jacob Oram, looking dangerous on 39, and Matthew Sinclair on 32, having been dropped once, were at the crease.

Ashish Nehra bowled superbly right through the morning. He dismissed Nathan Astle who made a hundred against India in the last match early. The opener edged an outswinger straight into the hands of Sameer Dighe behind the stumps. Astle made just five in three deliveries. When he was dismissed New Zealand were on 21.

Nehra was unlucky not to have seen the back of the other opener, Matthew Sinclair. The batsman chased a wide delivery straight into the hands of Virender Shewag at second slip. But the fielder, who dropped a straight chance in the last game in the same position against Sri Lanka, grassed it. Shortly after, Jacob Oram bisected a delivery from Zaheer Khan between Dighe and Rahul Dravid at first slip.

The New Zealand batsmen made the most of the fielding lapses and some ordinary bowling by Zaheer as they passed the 50 run mark in the ninth over. To curb the free scoring Kiwi batsmen, Indian skipper, Saurav Ganguly, introduced the spin of Harbhajan Singh in the tenth over of the match. Harbhajan slowed things down by bowling a maiden first up. But in his next over, Oram smashed him for 12 runs including a six and a boundary. Oram and Sinclair brought up their 50 run partnership in 41 minutes and 57 deliveries.


The start of the fifth match of the Coca Cola Cup between New Zealand and India at R. Premadasa Stadium has been delayed due to a damp wicket. The match was due to start at 10:00 in the morning. Umpires Peter Manuel and Gamini Silva inspected the wicket at 10:15 local time and have decided that it can begin at 1100 local time (1030 IST, 0500 GMT). As a result of the time lost, the game will be a 48 overs a side affair.

There were a couple of spots that particularly worried the umpires. This should make an already slow wicket even more slow and one would have thought it would lead to the teams picking more slow bowlers. As it happens, India have left out Amay Khurasiya and Rahul Sanghvi from the 13 and brought back left arm seamer Ashish Nehra and batsman Hemang Badani.

New Zealand, not surprisingly have brought back Dion Nash in place of Grant Bradburn who did not distinguish himself in the last game. It's still a bit cloudy here, although there's just enough sunshine to help things dry up. The team batting first would have a distinct disadvantage in these conditions and Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly predictably put New Zealand in to bat after winning the toss.

The teams:

India: *SC Ganguly, R Dravid, VVS Laxman, HK Badani, Yuvraj Singh, V Shewag, +SS Dighe, RS Sodhi, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, A Nehra. 12th man : AR Khurasiya

New Zealand: MS Sinclair, NJ Astle, *CD McMillan, L Vincent, CZ Harris, +AC Parore, DJ Nash, DL Vettori, KD Mills, DR Tuffey, JDP Oram. 12th man: GE Bradburn

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Date-stamped : 26 Jul2001 - 18:30