JOHANNESBURG, Sep 16 (Reuters) Daniel Vettori had India in a spin as they wasted a good start and crashed to a 10-run defeat to New Zealand in their Twenty20 World Cup Group E match today.
After opening batsman Virender Sehwag had thrashed 40 off 17 balls as India raced to 76 without loss in the sixth over, left-arm spinner Vettori asked too many questions of the remaining Indian batsmen, taking four for 20 as they finished on 180 for nine.
Vettori's testing variations of flight and pace first accounted for Robin Uthappa for a duck as he pushed back a return catch and then Gautam Gambhir, who looped a catch on the leg side to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.
Gambhir had top-scored with 51 off 33 balls and shared in an opening stand of 76 off just 37 deliveries with Sehwag.
Irfan Pathan (11) and Dinesh Karthik (17) were victims of Vettori's third spell as the required run rate became insurmountable for India.
Earlier, Craig McMillan and Jacob Oram made merry in the last five overs to lift New Zealand to a challenging total.
The pair shared a partnership of 73 runs in 5.2 overs as New Zealand scored 190 all out in 20 overs. McMillan scored a scintillating 44 off 23 balls, with four sixes, and Oram slammed 35 off 15 balls, with three sixes.
They reversed a decline in the innings that saw New Zealand slide from 69 for one in the ninth over to 91 for five in the 13th over.
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was the bowler who halted the charge, taking two for 24 in his four overs, while left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh finished with two for 29.
Neither McMillan nor Oram could bat through to the end of the innings, however, as New Zealand lost four wickets in the final over, wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni claiming the credit for three run outs.
McCullum top-scored for New Zealand at the top of the order with 45 off 31 balls, setting the side on their way to their highest total in Twenty20 internationals. Their previous best was 170 all out against Australia in Auckland in 2004/05.
Reuters TB GC1757