Mumbai: With the help of a brilliant hundred by skipper Virat Kohli and slog-over blitz by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India managed to pile up a big score of 280/8 in the first of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
Kohli (121 off 125, 9 fours, 2 sixes), who is playing his 200th ODI, brought up his 31st ton to guide his side to a challenging total. He also surpassed former Australian great Ricky Ponting (30 centuries in 375 ODIs).
Opener Rohit Sharma was looking at his belligerent best as he smashed 2 sixes in his 20 runs which came off only 12 balls, but failed to last long. His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan also departed cheaply after adding 9 runs off 12 balls.
Kedar Jadhav, who was given yet another chance, failed to impress again as he got out at the individual score of 12 runs off 25 balls. Middle-order batsman Dinesh Karthik (37), making his comeback into the side, also played an important knock.
MS Dhoni also tried to consolidate the inning but could only score 25 runs off 42 balls with 2 boundaries. He misplaced a cut shot into the safe hands of Martin Guptill waiting for the opportunity at the back-foot point region.
Hardik Pandya scored 16 runs off 16 balls with a four and a humongous six. Then came Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who played one of the most important knocks for India as he scored 26 runs off 15 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes. He belligerence helped India post a score as big as 280 runs in allotted 50 overs.
Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged 4 fours wickets and conceded mere 35 runs and also bowled a maiden. Tim Southee also plucked three wickets but was hit for 73 runs in his 10 overs.
Mitchell Santner also managed one success in his 10 overs giving away 41 runs.
New Zealand batsmen will soon be back on the ground to chase down the big target of 281 runs.