India's losing streak in 2014 saw them succumbing to another embarrassing defeat at Wellington on Friday, when hosts New Zealand outplayed the visitors yet again, winning the fifth ODI by 87 runs to take home the series 4-0.
Set a daunting 304 to win, thanks to another disappointing performance by their bowlers, India could score just 216 - mainly due to Virat Kohli's 82 and MS Dhoni's 47. Kiwi pacer Matt Henry made a dream debut taking 4 for 38 in his 10 overs, while Kane Williamson backed his fifth consecutive half-century with a spell of 2 for 19.
Indian openers were once again off to a disastrous start as they lost Rohit Sharma for four when he got out after giving an easy chance to Taylor in the first slip off Kyle Mills. Shikhar Dhawan soon followed him into the pavilion after scoring 9 runs off 28 balls. Debutant Henry had him caught by Nathan McCullum at second slip.
Kiwi pacers piled more misery on Indian batsmen as Henry got his second wicket of the match after trapping Ajinkya Rahane plumb in front of the wickets for 2, leaving India at 30 for 3 in the 14th over.
Kohli's 82 was the only saving grace as the visitors failed to put up a fight against the Kiwi bowlers. Rayudu (20) and Kohli added 48 runs for the fourth wicket but Henry got his third of the day when he had Rayudu caught by Williamson at gully. Kohli smashed three maximums and seven boundaries in his gutsy 78-ball knock as he tried to increase the scoring rate soon after reaching his 30th ODI fifty off 60 balls.
Kohli and skipper Dhoni added 67 runs for the fifth wicket and were looking dangerous before Kohli was caught in the deep off Nathan McCullum, reducing India to 167 for 6. Dhoni too found it tough to get away as Ashwin (7) and Ravindra Jadeja (5) departed in quick time. After hanging on for a while, Dhoni was caught in the deep for 47 to give Williamson his second wicket. The tail-enders dragged around before being bowled out for 216.
Earlier put in to bat, Taylor put on 152 runs for the third wicket with Williamson to help New Zealand post a challenging total of 303. Opener Jesse Ryder (17) tried to break the shackles but doing so saw him losing his wicket in the 8th over. Only 31 runs came in the first ten overs, with Martin Guptill (16) falling soon after, caught by Shami off Varun Aaron in the 13th over.
Williamson and Taylor once again put the Indian bowling to the sword in the middle overs and shared 152 runs off 151 balls to set the foundation for a big score.
After the two were dismissed, young James Neesham provided the late charge, scoring 34 off 19 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes to take New Zealand across the 300-mark.
For India, Aaron (2 for 60) was the most successful bowler, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1 for 48) and Mohammad Shami (1 for 61) provided decent support. Virat Kohli took the only other wicket to fall, while the spinners, R Ashwin (0 for 37) and Ravindra Jadeja (0 for 54) went wicketless.
This 87-run loss in India's worst defeat in New Zealand soil.
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