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Latham a beacon for NZ in heavy ODI loss

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/10/2016
Tom Latham in action for the Black Caps © Getty Images Tom Latham in action for the Black Caps

Tom Latham didn't have the demeanour of someone who had just achieved a New Zealand one-day international batting milestone following their six-wicket loss to India in Dharamsala.

The doughty left-handed opener became the first Black Cap to carry his bat through an ODI innings, his 79 off 98 balls providing glue in the tourists' fragile 190.

India wrapped the first game of the five-match series by reaching 194-4 in the 34th over, continuing their dominance from the 3-0 Test series sweep.

Latham, who was New Zealand's best batsman in that series with three half-centuries, lamented his team's inability to adapt to the seam on offer.

While spin conquered them in the Tests, they didn't cope with the early seam and zip of Indian new ball pair Hardik Pandya (3-31) and Umesh Yadav (2-31), who capitalised on lively conditions to reduced the tourists to 65-7.

Latham says it is crucial they find solutions before the second game in Delhi on Thursday.

"When we play our best cricket, we'll beat most teams in the world," he said.

"We haven't had the results we want on this tour but there's still four massive games to come.

"Hopefully we'll be better for the hit-out and can change a few things in the next couple of days."

New Zealand's three senior batsmen all departed inside the first seven overs, with Ross Taylor's form a particular concern.

His golden duck followed a Test series in which he contributed 89 runs from six innings.

Latham agreed with Indian captain MS Dhoni that a par score on the pitch would have been close to 300.

However, he couldn't accelerate the scoring as wickets fell relentlessly at the other end before pride was restored by a 71-run stand with No.10 Tim Southee.

Playing his 100th ODI, Southee's 55 off 45 balls was his first half-century. It was the highest ODI score by any Black Cap batting at nine or lower in the order.

Southee and the other Black Caps seamers couldn't generate the same life as the home side's bowlers as Virat Kohli's unbeaten 85 steered India home.

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