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Guptill upbeat after NZ win fourth ODI

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/10/2016

New Zealand's Martin Guptill plays a shot during the forth one-day international cricket match against India in Ranchi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. © AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade New Zealand's Martin Guptill plays a shot during the forth one-day international cricket match against India in Ranchi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Black Caps opener Martin Guptill is hoping his gradual return to form will ramp up a notch for the one-day international series decider against India in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

New Zealand levelled the series with a 19-run win against India in Ranchi,with Guptill top-scoring with 72 as the Black Caps reached 260-7 after Kane Williamson opted to bat first.

It was Williamson's first toss win in three Tests and four ODIs in India, and looked a positive decision as Guptill and Tom Latham brought up 80 in the 10-over powerplay.

Guptill's 84-ball innings included 12 fours and won him the man of the match award, leaving him upbeat after a patchy run ahead of the fifth and final ODI in two days.

"Going forward to Visakhapatnam, hopefully I can spend a bit more time in the middle, create a few partnerships with the guys I'm batting with and hopefully we can score some big runs."

Guptill said the Ranchi pitch had proven challenging, and although his innings was scratchy at times, it had been satisfying to build a solid opening partnership with Latham.

"I wasn't as fluent as I would have liked, but I'll take 72 any day of the week," he said.

"The pitch was tough. Early on the ball came on a bit more and you were able to hit through the line a bit better.

"But once it got a bit softer, scoring became a lot tougher and you had to work for your runs - you had to grind it out a wee bit."

Latham was out caught at short fine leg by Ajinkya Rahane off Axar Patel for 39 midway through the 16th over.

Guptill was the second man to go, caught behind 10 overs later by MS Dhoni off Hardik Pandya.

Williamson added 41 and Ross Taylor was run out on 35 as India slowed New Zealand's charge.

Tim Southee played a key part in undermining India's pursuit in claiming 3-40, including the back-to-back wickets of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav.

After losing Rohit Sharma in the fifth over for 11, Rahane and Virat Kohli moved the total swiftly along towards three figures.

However, Kohli was removed for 45 when he cut a thin edge off Ish Sodhi through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, then Rahane was trapped lbw by Jimmy Neesham on 57.

New Zealand really took control when Southee removed Pandey and Jadhav from successive balls before also removing Pandya to a second good catch from Latham.

India were left in trouble at 167-7 and while No.10 Dhawal Kulkarni gave brief hope with a rapid unbeaten 25, the hosts were bowled out in the 49th over.

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