AUCKLAND (AFP): Tom Latham smashed a majestic century to steer New Zealand to a seven-wicket win over India in Friday’s opening one-day international in Auckland.
Latham hammered 19 fours and five sixes in an unbeaten innings of 145 runs off 104 balls. It was his seventh ODI century and his highest score in the format.
The Black Caps were set 307 runs to win at Eden Park before Latham and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson put on a winning partnership of 221 runs.
Williamson finished on 94 not out as New Zealand went one up in the ODI series, having lost the Twenty20 series to India.
After being put into bat by New Zealand on Friday, India put up 306 and then did not allow New Zealand’s openers to settle as the chase began.
Finn Allen and then Dean Conway edged shots to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.
India gave ODI debuts to pace bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik, who celebrated with the wickets of Conway and Daryl Mitchell in quick succession as New Zealand laboured to 88-3.
However, it quickly turned into a miserable evening for India’s bowlers.
Williamson dug in with a superb array of shots, including a 79-metre six.
He was well supported by Latham, who grew in confidence as the pair broke the Indian bowling momentum and took New Zealand to the finish line.
Earlier, India’s captain Shikhar Dhawan put on a superb opening partnership of 124 with Shubman Gill.
Dhawan smashed 13 fours as he made 72 runs off 77 balls before being caught off the bowling of Tim Southee, who claimed his 200th ODI wicket for New Zealand.
India’s run rate slowed as Pant and then Suryakumar Yadav were dismissed, leaving the visitors on 160-4.
Shreyas Iyer steadied the innings with 80 runs, including four sixes.
Hamilton will host the second ODI on Sunday.