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Dinesh Karthik fifty guides India to series-levelling win vs New Zealand

Dinesh Karthik smashed a wonderful fifty on his comeback as his solid knock helped Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team to a six-wicket win in Pune over New Zealand and level the three-match series 1-1.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 25, 2017 21:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
India vs New Zealand,Indian national cricket team,New Zealand national cricket team
Dinesh Karthik slammed his ninth ODI fifty as India cruised to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the Pune ODI as they levelled the three-match series 1-1.(PTI)

Dinesh Karthik brought up his ninth half century off 76-deliveries on Wednesday, as India registered a six-wicket win over New Zealand at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

It was a sluggish show from the veteran who made a comeback after being overlooked for the Australia series. Having been dismissed for 37 in Mumbai, Karthik ensured there were no slip-ups with an over-cautious approach that saw him hit just three boundaries en route reaching the 50-mark for the ninth time in his ODI career.

With Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan having paved the path for India’s chase with a good start, Karthik never seemed to be in any rush to finish things off as he held fort from one end while Hardik Pandya and Dhawan took care of the stroke-play.

Karthik relied on the ones and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking and held himself back from even punishing the overpitch deliveries. The way his innings panned out was in stark contrast on how it had started though.

With Colin de Grandhomme sending skipper back for 29, Karthik walked in and immediately got off the mark with a boundary down the third-man region but made the jam-packed audience wait for another 27 deliveries before another one came off his blade. It wasn’t quite in control but had enough power to steer it past the fielder at point.

He reached his half century with his third boundary, he best he had struck on the night, as he slapped one to pierce through the off-side. The crowd, which had been shouting their lungs out for almost everything, applauded with a small chirp. They hadn’t run out of energy though, as just four balls later, Pandya’s dismissal gave way for the typical “Dhoni Dhoni” cheer in the stands.

Fittingly, Karthik scored the winning runs when he punched a good length ball from Southee to the deep cover fence to level the three-match series 1-1. The final match of the series will take place in Kanpur on October 29.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 21:27 IST