Napier: Virat Kohli's exhilarating hundred went in vain as New Zealand staged a dramatic turnaround to pull off a thrilling 24-run win in the first cricket one-dayer against India to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here Sunday.
Set a formidable target of 293, India seemed on track for a facile win with Kohli (123 off 110 balls) anchoring the chase with his 18th ODI century before pacer Mitchell McClenaghan's three-wicket burst 11 balls changed the complexion of the game completely.
From a comfortable 224 for five, the Indians were all out for 268 in 48.4 overs with McClenaghan being the wrecker-in-chief with a match haul of 4/68.
Earlier, electing to bowl after winning the toss, India's inconsistent bowling effort helped New Zealand pile up 292 for seven.
For the Kiwis, apart McClenaghan, Corey Anderson shone bright with an all-round effort, scoring 68 runs off 40 deliveries before knocking off two wickets in his 10 overs of medium pace bowling.
Tim Southee (1-43 in 9.4 overs) and Adam Milne (1-40 in 7.3 overs) gave Anderson good support, even as the latter walked off mid-way in the 41st over with a side-strain.
After being put in to bat, half-centuries from Anderson, Kane Williamson (71) and Ross Taylor (55) helped the hosts reach 292/7 in their allotted 50 overs.
However, the brightest star of the match ended up in the losing side.
Kohli, who scored his a first hundred in a losing cause while chasing, found no support from other batsmen, none of who managed to reach even the 50-run mark.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started with great caution. Southee bowled two maiden overs first up as the batsmen took time settling down.
In fact, the first wicket came before the first boundary in this innings, as Rohit failed to rotate the strike and came under pressure to score, holing out to Southee off a short ball from McClenaghan in the sixth over. He scored only 3 runs off 23 balls.
Kohli came to the crease and got off the mark with a signature cover drive, the first four for India on the 29th ball of the innings.