Dambulla: India crashed to a humiliating 200-run defeat in the first match of the triangular ODI series against New Zealand with a pathetic bowling and batting display here on Tuesday.
After the Kiwis put up a competitive 288 on the board, riding on skipper Ross Taylor (95) and Scott Styris (89), India suffered an inexplicable batting collapse to bundle out for a paltry 88 in just 29.3 overs.
In what turned out to be a totally lop-sided contest, only three Indian batsmen could score double figures as the Kiwis ripped through the young batting lineup to launch their campaign on a high.
It was a commanding show by the New Zealanders who relied on a 190-run stand for the fourth wicket between Taylor and Styris before Daryl Tuffey (3/34) and Kyle Mills (2/26) and Jacob Oram (2/15) shot out India to complete a convincing win.
Chasing 289 to win, openers Dinesh Karthik (14) and Virender Sehwag (19) made a watchful start but New Zealand struck twice in as many deliveries to get rid of the openers and reduce India to 39 for two in 7.1 overs.
Sehwag was the first to go when he failed to negotiate a short ball aimed at his body by Mills as the ball kissed his glove and landed safely at wicketkeeper Gerath Hopkins’ hands.
Karthik then followed suit when he played Tuffey’s delivery down the wrong line and missed the ball, which struck on his pads in front of the wicket.
Rohit Sharma (4) then joined Yuvraj Singh (5) but the former was sent packing in the 10th over by Tuffey and two overs later New Zealand dealt India another blow, removing Suresh Raina to leave India tottering at 50/4 in 11.2 overs.
Sharma, brought in to bolster the middle order, ended up giving catching practice to first slip of Tuffey’s outside off stump delivery.
Raina also followed his partner and edged one straight to second slip to award Tuffey his third wicket of the day.
The 32-year-old seamer came to haunt India again in the 14th over when his direct throw found skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni short of wicket as India looked down the barrel at 53/5.
Yuvraj and Ravindra Jadeja tried to stem the rot but Andy Mckay removed the former in the 17th over and eight balls later Praveen Kumar was also sent packing by Jacob Oram as India stared at an impending defeat.
Earlier, New Zealand had a disastrous start, collapsing to 28 for three in 6.5 overs but Taylor (95) and Styris (89) rescued the innings and helped New Zealand to reach 288.
Newball bowlers Praveen Kumar (3/43) and Ashish Nehra (4/47) shared seven wickets between them to strangle the New Zealand top and lower order and helped India bowl out their rivals inside 300.
New Zealand had a tottering start, losing three wickets inside seven overs with the scoreboard reading just 28 but Taylor and Styris stemmed the rot and anchored the innings to safety after electing to bat first.