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NZ crush India to win ODI series 4-0

By AAP .
31 January 2014 10:20PM EST

NEW Zealand's merciless battering of India continued to the end of their one-day series as the home side bossed the world champions into defeat by 87 runs in Wellington.

The prolific batting of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson and the relentless seam bowling of Kyle Mills and newcomer Matt Henry ensured the five-match series ended 4-0 in the Black Caps' favour.

To end a series that became more one-sided as it has progressed, India never threatened New Zealand's 303-5, being skittled for 216 in the final over.

Again Virat Kohli (82 off 78 balls) and captain MS Dhoni (47 off 72) saved face for the world No.2-ranked tourists whose heralded batting depth failed to fire.

They were outshone by the seventh-ranked New Zealanders, whose growing confidence in all elements translated into an emphatic performance which delighted captain Brendon McCullum.

"In the time that I've played, it's probably the best series that we've won," he said.

"To do it in the manner that we did is something we'll hold onto for a long time."

Another slow start to their chase put India on the back foot, once more heaping pressure on Kohli and Dhoni - who scored 291 and 272 runs respectively in the series - to mount a rescue mission from a forlorn position.

When Kohli was caught at long-on for 82 off impressive spinner Nathan McCullum, with 159 runs required off 14 overs, it signalled the end of any realistic hope.

New Zealand's work with the new ball was suffocating.

Veteran Mills was as miserly as ever, taking 2-35, while Canterbury right-armer Henry won't forget his debut quickly.

A late inclusion in the squad this week, 22-year-old Henry removed three top-order batsmen for 19 runs from his first six overs. He finished with 4-38.

New Zealand's innings was built around the ultra-consistent Taylor and Williamson, who continued their prolific home seasons.

Taylor's 102 off 106 balls was his second successive ton and his fifth of the international summer while Williamson notched a fifth straight half-century in crafting 88 off 91. Williamson's series aggregate of 361 just pipped Taylor's 343.

McCullum said the pair are climbing into the world-class category and Taylor's latest century was a reflection of his off-field endeavour.

"I've never seen Roscoe play as well as he has over the last couple of months. It's a real credit to the hard work he puts in and how good a player he is."

Dhoni says his side boasts no shortage of ability but had failed to adapt quickly enough to New Zealand conditions, or play with enough freedom with the bat.

"Their new-ball bowling has been fantastic but where they're really taken the game away from us is their batting in the middle overs.

"They've started slowly but they've built partnerships and kept wickets in hand."

Taylor and Williamson put on 152 for the third wicket before late cameos from captain McCullum (23 off 18) and allrounder James Neesham (34 not out off 19) carried the hosts to a score that no side has successfully chased at Westpac Stadium.

New-ball bowler Mohammed Shami was the pick of the Indian attack, bowling three early maidens before his figures of 1-61 were ruined by some late fireworks.

The first of two Tests starts in Auckland on Thursday.

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