New Delhi:Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra scalped three wickets each as India exploited a spongy track to restrict New Zealand to a modest 155 in their opening tri-series match here on Friday.
Electing to bat, the Kiwis could never really recover from the early jolts and were skittled out for a 155 in 46.3 overs on a tricky Premadasa track.
New Zealand, who desperately need a win to remain in contention in the series, could not get a single decent partnership going as wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals in the floodlit contest.
Ashish Nehra (3/24) and Yuvraj singh (3/31) were the pick of the the Indian bowlers while R P Singh and Ishant Sharma chipped in with two wickets apiece.
As many as five New Zealand batsmen got into the 20s but none of them could carry on to make a substantial score and bail the team out from the early slump.
The Kiwi innings could not have started on a more disastrous note as they lost the dangerous Jesse Ryder in the very first ball he faced with Ashish Nehra doing the damage.
The left-handed Nehra trapped Ryder leg before with a ball that pitched on the middle stump and moved in and umpire Kumar Dharmasena had no hesitation in declaring him out.
The Kiwis suffered another major jolt when Brendon McCullum also fell a victim to Nehra in his next over, reducing New Zealand to a precarious 4 for two in their must-win game.
Nehra, returning to the national team after being in the wilderness for close to four years, made his comeback even more memorable by scalping his 100th ODI scalp with the dismissal of McCullum.
After Nehra had rocked the Kiwis innings by getting rid of both the openers, R P Singh struck for his team by plotting the dismissal of Ross Taylor, leaving the Black Caps tottering at 19 for three.
Taylor went to push an outgoing ball but only succeeded in edging it to Mahendra Singh Dhoni who made no mistake behind the stumps.
Martin Guptill and Grant Elliot tried to steady the innings by trying to play cautiously on a track which provided assistance to the bowlers.
The pair put on 32 runs for the fourth wicket before Yuvraj Singh broke the partnership in his very first over by scalping Guptill.
Guptill snicked a sharp turning delivery and Rahul Dravid pulled off a brilliant low catch at first slip much to the delight of his teammates.
Yuvraj Singh evicted Elliott with another spinning delivery and then accounted for his third wicket when he dismissed Nathan Broom with Suresh Raina taking a spectacular catch.
Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni deployed as many as seven bowlers and the spongy track made scoring runs a difficult task.