India 295 for 8 (Musheer 131, Adarsh 52, Clarke 4-62) beat New Zealand 81 (Jackson 19, Cumming 16, Pandey 4-19, Musheer 2-10) by 214 runs
New Zealand made three changes, leaving out their highest wicket-taker Matt Rowe. Arshin Kulkarni, on the back of a century in the last game, got going with a flick through square leg, but failed to carry on. He rushed down the track to a back-of-a-length Mason Clarke delivery that he looked to flay away but could only manage a top edge that flew to deep third.
Musheer, coming in on the back of 118 and 73 in the previous two games, immediately got going. He started with a ramp off Clarke over the keeper’s head before unfurling a cracking cover drive to quickly move to double figures. Adarsh, meanwhile launched a couple of sparkling drives.
With the conditions ripe for batting, they rotated the strike at every given interval and found the boundaries regularly. India, whose powerplay scores so far this tournament have been 45 for 2, 38 for 1 and 40 for 0, raced to 61 for 1 against New Zealand. New Zealand’s ground fielding was also not up to mark at least in the first ten overs.
Even after the powerplay, New Zealand continued to leak runs with Adarsh taking Oscar Jackson for two fours in an over before reaching his second fifty of the tournament off 56 balls with a clip through square leg for three. The left-hander, however, fell soon after almost against the run of play slicing legspinner Zac Cumming to point to end a run-a-ball 77-run partnership.
Captain Uday Saharan then walked in but failed to get the same momentum going, as the surface started taking some turn. New Zealand employed spin for 25 overs straight and Snehith Reddy, Cumming (1-37) and Oliver Tewatiya (1-43) shone through. Even as Musheer kept the innings chugging along, Saharan struggled.
Musheer was dropped at deep square leg soon after breaching the three-figure mark, but New Zealand managed to restrict India to an extent with Clarke doing the damage finishing with 4 for 62. Musheer fell in the 48th over getting a top edge that was taken at extra cover. India did score 89 runs in the last ten overs but lost five wickets in the process.
If there was any momentum that New Zealand took into their second innings, they lost all of it in Limbani’s first over. In what was a spell of inswinging brilliance, he breached opener Tom Jones’ defences first ball with a nip-backer that left his stumps in a mess. Reddy then shouldered arms first ball and was struck in front, but the umpire adjudged the ball to be going over the stumps. He, however, didn’t last long playing all around a length ball that tailed back in sharply as New Zealand were reduced to 0 for 2 after the first over. That became 13 for 3 when Lachlan Stackpole was cleaned up by Pandey’s arm ball.
It was a procession thereon with none of the New Zealand batters picking any of the bowlers. James Nelson was caught lbw by Pandey for 10 while Naman Tiwari took out Tewatiya. Jackson and Cumming resisted for 40 balls before Musheer took out Jackson with a yorker while Pandey added two more wickets to his tally.
It was fitting that Musheer ended the game, taking out Ewald Schreuder, as New Zealand were taken down comprehensively.
Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo