India crush NZ by eight wickets, win series 5-0

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Chennai: India rode on a clinical show by their bowlers and Parthiv Patel’s unbeaten half century as they crushed a hapless New Zealand by eight wickets in the fifth and final cricket one-dayer to complete a 5-0 series whitewash here on December 10.

Stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir lost the toss but that proved to be a blessing in disguise as Indian bowlers came up with a disciplined effort to bundle out New Zealand for 103 in just 27 overs, the lowest total for the Kiwis against India in ODIs.

Chasing a meager 104 for a win, India stuttered initially with Gautam Gambhir (0) and Virat Kohli (2) falling early but Prathiv (56 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (42 not out) kept their cool to take the home side past the target with 28.5 overs to spare at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Patel struck the winning runs — a four — as India reached 107 for two in 21.1 overs to rout New Zealand and wrap up a remarkable performance by a young side without senior players Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh.

It was India’s second instance of a 5-0 series whitewash against any country, having achieved the feat against England in 2008-09. This also turned out to be best ever victory against New Zealand by India in one-dayers. India won this match with 173 balls to spare with eight wickets in hand; its earlier best against the Kiwis was 160 balls to spare with seven wickets to spare.

New Zealand ended their tour of India on a humiliating note. They had lost the three-match Test series 0-1 before the five ODIs.

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