Dambulla: India relied on Virender Sehwag’s swashbuckling century and an inspired show of swing bowling to spank New Zealand by 105 runs and cruise into the final of the cricket tri-series here on August 25.
While the flamboyant Sehwag (110) notched up his 13th ODI century to steer India to a competitive 223 after four early jolts, the pace bowlers then came up with fine exhibition of swing and control to skittle out the Kiwis for 118 in 30.1 overs.
The Indians, who desperately needed to win the floodlit contest to stay afloat, owed their victory to the brilliance of Sehwag who gave them enough runs on the board to push for a win on a tricky pitch at the Rangiri international stadium.
Chasing 224 for win, the Kiwis found the going tough under lights as the Indian speedsters extracted a lot of swing to virtually rip through the top-order.
Virat Kohli, who replaced Rohit Sharma in the team, joined the action after Karthik’s dismissal, but could not survive long, being at the receiving end.