McClenaghan fires NZ to win

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Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum’s instructions to bowler Mitchell McClenaghan in the first one-day international against India in Napier on Sunday were short, simple and effective.

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With an established partnership in Virat Kohli and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni poised to chase down New Zealand’s par 292-7, McCullum needed wickets. Quickly.

A classy Kohli hundred looked to have anchored India to the win as he racked up his 18th ODI century off 93 balls, combining with Dhoni to construct a 95-run partnership for the fifth wicket after the pair came together with the score on 129-4.

But the world No.1 ODI side crumbled from 224-4 to be all out for 268 in 48.2 overs to give New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

McClenaghan led the way, returning figures of 4-68 including the crucial wicket of Kohli for 123 early in the 45th over after earlier removing Dhoni for 40 two overs earlier.

As well as those two key wickets, McClenaghan also dismissed opener Rohit Sharma for three and Ravindra Jadeja without scoring.

McCullum admitted afterwards that the Kohli-Dhoni partnership was “a captain’s nightmare”, but said McClenaghan had done everything asked of him in breaking it up.

“Mitch is in the team to attack and take wickets and the message was pretty simple: try and find a way to get a wicket, be as aggressive as you can, be as hostile as you can,” he said.

“He’s not always going to do it, but as long as he’s trying to do it, that’s the message we keep telling him.

Earlier, big hitting Corey Anderson took charge in the closing stages of the New Zealand innings to belt an unbeaten 68 off 40 balls, including three boundaries and four booming sixes.

The 23-year-old allrounder had been relatively subdued since smashing a world record 36-ball century in the second ODI against the West Indies in Queenstown on New Year’s Day.

But he rediscovered his mojo on Sunday, putting on 66 in 37 balls for the sixth wicket with Luke Ronchi, and also picking up 2-51 off his 10 overs.

The performance eased somewhat the loss of Black Caps speedster Adam Milne, who left the field with a side strain three balls into his eighth over, and could be in doubt for the second ODI in Hamilton on Wednesday.

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