New Zealand beats India by 19 runs to square series

New Zealand beat India by 19 runs in the fourth one-day international to level the five-match series at 2-2 as the hosts suffered a mid-innings collapse at Ranchi on Wednesday.

Chasing 261 for a series clinching win, India were all out for 241 with eight balls to spare.

Opener Ajinkya Rahane’s fluent 57 put India on course for the chase and the right-handed batsman added 79 for the second wicket with the in-form Virat Kohli (45).

India looked firmly in the driver’s seat when Rahane and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11) were batting but then they lost five wickets for just 39 runs which put paid to their hopes of bagging the series with a match to spare.

Seamer James Neesham dismissed Rahane and Dhoni in successive overs and paceman Tim Southee (3-40) picked up two wickets in consecutive deliveries as India were reduced from 128-2 to 167-7 in the space of a few overs.

Axar Patel (38) and Amit Mishra (14) added 38 for the eighth wicket while tailenders Dhawal Kulkarni (25 not out) and Umesh Yadav added 34 for the last wicket to take India close but their efforts were not enough. Earlier, openers Martin Guptill (72) and Tom Latham (39) gave New Zealand a brisk start after the visiting captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat on a slow surface. The duo added 80 in the first 10 overs of fielding restrictions but Dhoni then brought on his spinners to restrict the flow of runs.

Guptill and Latham added another 16 for their opening stand before the latter fell to left-arm spinner Patel midway through the 16th over.

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