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Dhoni propels India to 273 for four against New Zealand


Napier : Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who promoted himself to No.3 in the batting order, propelled India to 273 for four wickets in 38 overs after Virender Sehwag with a quick-fire 77 gave visitors a perfect start in rain affected One Day International (ODI) against New Zealand here Tuesday.

Sehwag blazed 11 boundaries and a six in his 56 balls innings. The Indian opener was on the offensive right from the start, coming particularly hard on Kyle Mills, who was making a comeback from an injury, before rain forced players to move off the field after the fifth over.

On return, Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar (20) batted with urgency with India scoring 100 runs in 14 overs. Both the openers added 69 runs for the first wicket before Tendulkar stabbed an Ian Butler delivery to wicketkeeper to Brendon McCullum for 20.

Tendulkar’s fall brought Dhoni to the crease who kept the run-rate ticking with an unbeaten 84 that included six fours. He found able support in Suresh Raina (66) after Sehwag was caught off Daniel Vettori.

Dhoni and Raina stitched a brisk 100-run partnership before Raina was caught off Grant Elliott in the 35th over. Raina’s hit a quick-fire 66 off 39 balls including five fours and four sixes.