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1 Again indian's bat speaks on 12th March 2009, 8:09 am

Sehwag's blitzkrieg powers India to series win



© Getty Images
Virender Sehwag sped to a century from 60 balls, the seventh fastest
in limited-overs international history, as India beat New Zealand by 84
runs in a rain-reduced contest on Wednesday to clinch the series with a
match to spare.

Sehwag's hundred was the fastest by an Indian
batsman in one day internationals, beating Mohammad Azharuddin's
62-ball effort against New Zealand at Baroda 21 years ago, and helped
clinch India's first win in an ODI series in New Zealand.

Sehwag
finished 125 not out from 74 balls and Gautam Gambhir was 63 not out as
India reached 201 without loss in 23.3 overs, replying to New Zealand's
270 from 47 overs in a rain-affected match. India's unbroken opening
partnership was the largest to win a match in one-day international
history.

"I love it," Sehwag said. "I know how the pitches behave here. I played here also in 2003 and scored two hundreds that time.”

"This time the pitches are so flat and good to bat on."

Sehwag
blasted 14 fours and six sixes in an innings which, after around three
rain interruptions, occupied only 139 minutes. He rushed to a half
century from 31 balls and helped India reached 100 in 54 minutes from
69 balls.

Sehwag passed his century in 87 minutes with 13 fours and four sixes, adding his second 50 from only 29 balls.

Two
rain interruptions during New Zealand's innings left them facing only
47 overs and they seemed to have achieved a competitive total of 270
for five.

Brendon McCullum made 77 in an opening partnership of
102 with Jesse Ryder (46) then, after a middle order collapse which saw
five wickets fall for 73 runs, Peter McGlashan and Grant Elliott added
95 from 61 balls in an unbeaten stand for the sixth wicket.

McGlashan
made 56 not out, his maiden international half century, and Elliott 35
not out in a stand which gave New Zealand some hope of arresting
India's domination of the series.

India began chasing 280 from
47 overs under Duckworth-Lewis calculations, then 262 off 43 overs and,
finally, 220 off 36 as their chase was twice revised after rain
interruptions. They were well ahead of New Zealand on Duckworth-Lewis
comparisons when rain finally ended the match in the 24th over.

"It
was a good old fashioned hiding," New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori
said. "We didn't really get ourselves in the game. We were a little bit
short on the runs and then Sehwag and Gambhir played outstandingly to
take the game away from us."
Vettori said New Zealand needed to
win the fifth and final match of the series in Auckland on Saturday for
"our own credibility and our own peace of mind."

Indian captain M.S.Dhoni was delighted that India had won so comprehensively in its first run chase of the series.
"It was amazing to see the way Sehwag and Gambhir batted," he said.

"They
took calculated risks. They targeted a few bowlers to go after and I
think that's the key. We wanted to play our natural cricket and that's
what they were doing.”

"They were rotating the strike, chipping the boundaries and, in between, Sehwag was at his best."
India now has an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series after four ODIs. The fifth and final ODI will be played on March 14.
(source-icc).

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