Hamilton, Feb 5 (IANS) India’s new found No. 4 Shreyas Iyer continued his purple patch with the bat as he scored his maiden ODI ton to help the Men in Blue set a formidable 348-run target for New Zealand in the first ODI at the Seddon Park on Wednesday.
Iyer, who had scored six half centuries before this innings, looked determined right from the start and once he got into the groove, he made sure he converted it into a big one and contribute for the team, who have been marred with injuries.
Earlier after being put into bat, debutants Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal provided India with a steady start. They initially faced some tough time but managed to get through that and stitched a 50-run stand.
However, both failed to capitalise on their starts as they got out in successive overs. While Shaw (20) was the first to go as he got a peach of a delivery from Colin de Grandhomme, Agarwal tried to be over aggressive and in the process gifted his wicket to Tim Southee after contributing with 32.
Skipper Virat Kohli then stitched a 102-run stand with Iyer and steadied India’s ship. The Indian captain looked all set to score yet another century but was undone by a brilliant googly from Ish Sodhi and was bowled after scoring 51.
K.L. Rahul, who has been in the form of his life on the ongoing tour, continued from where he left in the T20Is, and made sure runs come thick and fast for the visitors. Both shared a 136-run partnership before Iyer got out after playing a brilliant knock of 103.
However, the dismissal didn’t deter the confidence of Rahul who continued with his prolific form and switched gears to take India past the 300-run mark. He was well supported by Kedar Jadhav, who played a nice cameo and took the New Zealand bowlers to the cleaners.
The duo added 55 runs off 27 balls as India finished at 347/4 in their allotted quota of 50 overs. While Rahul remained unbeaten at 84 (64 balls), Jadhav scored 26 runs in 15 balls.
None of the Black Cap bowlers could stall the Indian run-rate as they were taken to task by the Men in Blue.
Brief scores: India 347/4 (Shreyas Iyer 103, K.L. Rahul 84; Tim Southee 2/85)