(Last Updated on : 20/12/2010)
The India-New Zealand One-Day International (ODI) match in Auckland on 26th December, 2002 was the first match of the 7-match ODI-series between the two teams. The Indian team played the match after being white washed in the 2-match Test series against New Zealand. As a result, the morale of the Indian team was quite low and this was quite evident with the performance of the Indian players in the match.
Winning the toss, the New Zealand captain, Stephen Fleming decided to field first, as he wanted to let his bowlers utilise the early moisture and freshness of the pitch to cause trouble for the Indian batsmen. Put into bat first, the Indian team got yet another bad start, as they lost their first 2 wickets within a low score of only 28 runs. The opening batsman, Virender Sehwag got out in the second over of the match, without scoring a single run. The one-down batsman, VVS Laxman also failed to stay longer on the crease and went back to the pavilion, after scoring only 9 runs. The Indian skipper, Saurav Ganguly then made a good attempt to save his team from the early disaster and with good support from SS Das, he made a small partnership of 35 runs. However, the Indian team got into a bigger trouble when Das, Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh got out within a short span. Das was the first one to go, after scoring 28 runs and Ganguly and Yuvraj then followed him, by scoring 14 and 2 runs, respectively. As, all the other Indian batsmen failed to remain steady on the crease, the Indian team got all out to only 108 runs, one of the cheapest scores in its history. Jacob Oram became the star for New Zealand in the match, as he took 5 wickets for only 26 runs.
Playing for achieving such a small target, the New Zealand team faced a great hurdle, as the Indian bowlers showed some brilliant performance with the bowling. The Indians were bowling with the perfect line and length and they were also putting in some huge pressure on the New Zealand batsmen. They made run scoring quite hard for the New Zealand batsmen. The New Zealand team lost its first wicket in the match in the very first over, when Javagal Srinath removed Nathan Astle from the crease. The other Indian bowlers like Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan also bowled quite well in the match and they soon became successful to reduce the New Zealand innings to 6-52 in the 19th over. However, as Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills played well and made a good partnership, New Zealand eventually won the match by 3 wickets. Oram remained unbeaten on 27 runs and Daniel Vettori remained not out on 5 runs, when New Zealand reached the target of 109 runs in the 38th over.