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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Kiwis secure Twenty20 clean sweep

Twenty20 international, Wellington:
New Zealand 150-5 (20 overs) beat India 149-6 (20 overs) by five wickets
Match scorecard

Brendon McCullum
McCullum formed an explosive opening partnership with Jesse Ryder

New Zealand completed a 2-0 Twenty20 series victory against India after winning a superb match by five wickets.

India were put in and Virender Sehwag made 24 from 11 balls, before Yuvraj Singh smashed three fours and four sixes in 50 from only 34 deliveries.

Chasing 150, Jesse Ryder hit the first ball for six in an opening stand of 53 within five overs with Brendon McCullum but 12 were needed off the last over.

McCullum was dropped off the final ball and finished unbeaten on 69.

After Sehwag's explosive start to the innings, the tourists were made to work hard for runs as disciplined bowling from Daniel Vettori (1-20) and Ryder (0-18) reined in the scoring.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni weighed in to push the total on with an unbeaten 28, but there was little more support for Yuvraj Singh among the Indian middle order.


Suresh Raina departed without scoring as he spooned an attempted pull to Tim Southee off Ian Butler and Gautam Gambhir (10) was caught steering the ball tamely to third man off the same bowler.

India's attack was blunted by a shoulder injury sustained by Ishant Sharma as he fell heavily while fielding and was not risked for the second half of the match.

Chasing a modest target, the Blackcaps looked comfortably on course coming into the final three overs with 27 runs required and a cushion of eight wickets in hand.

But two wickets in successive balls from Irfan Pathan deprived McCullum of first Ross Taylor (25) and then Jacob Oram for nought, as India sensed an unlikely win.

With Neil Broom becoming Pathan's third victim in the penultimate over having scored five runs, New Zealand found themselves nine adrift of victory with just three balls remaining.

Fortunately for the hosts, McCullum was on strike and two hearty boundaries brought them to the brink before he top-edged beyond the grasp of Rohit Sharma at mid-off and scampered home for the winning run.

"It's really pleasing. We won the toss and did what we wanted to do. I was really pleased with the bowling effort to restrict them to 150," said New Zealand captain Vettori.

His opposite number agreed on the crucial part of the match and was left rueing his side's inability to build on the opening made by Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.

"We had a decent start and we had big hitters down the order but the two or three wickets we lost in the middle overs were crucial," Dhoni said.

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see also
Kiwis cruise to Twenty20 victory
25 Feb 09 |  International Teams
Oram and Ryder recalled by Kiwis
21 Feb 09 |  New Zealand
Balaji back for India's NZ tour
13 Feb 09 |  Cricket

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