AUCKLAND: Tom Latham was left thanking his lucky stars after smashing a majestic century to steer New Zealand to a seven-wicket win over India in the series-opening One-day International here at Eden Park on Friday.
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.
“It was one of those days when everything comes off. I don’t really know where that came from — the stars aligned, things fall into place,” Latham said of his man-of-the-match innings.
The Black Caps were set 307 to win before Latham and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson put on a winning partnership of 221 runs.
We bowled short of length and that’s where Latham attacked us,” said India captain Shikhar Dhawan.
“We couldn’t make a breakthrough when the partnership was on. Latham took the game away for us and that’s when the momentum shifted.”
Williamson finished on 94 not out as New Zealand went one up in the ODI series, having lost the Twenty20 series to India.
“It was an incredible knock by Tommy [Latham] — he was absolutely on fire,” said Williamson.
After being put into bat by New Zealand, India put up 306 and then did not allow New Zealand’s openers to settle as the chase began.
Finn Allen and then Devon Conway edged shots to wicket-keeper 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.