In­dia win sec­ond NZ Test to clinch se­ries

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

IN­DIA’S bowlers pro­pelled the hosts to a com­pre­hen­sive 178-run win over New Zealand in the sec­ond Test yes­ter­day to clinch the se­ries and re­claim the top spot in the world rank­ings.

Chas­ing 376 runs for vic­tory, New Zealand were bowled out for 197 in the fi­nal ses­sion on the fourth day in Kolkata, with In­dia’s Mo­hammed Shami, Ravichan­dran Ash­win and Ravin­dra Jadeja tak­ing three wick­ets each.

Shami claimed the fi­nal wicket of Trent Boult, spark­ing cel­e­bra­tions in the In­dian team who now take an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead in the three-match se­ries af­ter win­ning the first Test in Kan­pur.

The vic­tory also sees In­dia jump back to the top of the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) Test rank­ings af­ter start­ing the se­ries just one point be­hind archri­vals Pak­istan.

Shami and Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar, who took five scalps in the first in­nings, shared 12 wick­ets be­tween them on a two-paced track at Eden Gar­dens that of­fered the seam bowlers of both sides great help.

But bats­man Wrid­dhi­man Saha was awarded man of the match for his un­beaten half-cen­turies in both in­nings against New Zealand’s seam­ers.

Spin­ners also played their part af­ter Ash­win broke New Zealand’s open­ing stand just af­ter lunch, trap­ping Martin Gup­till lbw for 24.

Tom Latham also scored a gritty 74 be­fore fall­ing to Ash­win soon af­ter the tea break.

Ash­win got Latham on a well-crafted off-spin­ner that pitched and spun away from the left-han­der, who was caught be­hind.

Latham’s 49-run sec­ond-wicket part­ner­ship with Henry Ni­cholls had raised the visi­tors’ hopes of bat­ting the day out but Ash­win’s part­ner Jadeja soon joined forces.

Jadeja claimed the wicket of Ni­cholls af­ter his an­gled de­liv­ery got the edge of the New Zealan­der’s bat for an easy catch at slips.

Shami got some re­verse swing to­ward the end of the day to rat­tle New Zealand’s mid­dle-or­der with the wick­ets of Mitchell Sant­ner and BJ Watling.

Ear­lier In­dia, who re­sumed the day on 227 for eight in their sec­ond in­nings, were bowled out for 263 with Saha scor­ing an un­beaten 58.

The con­tri­bu­tions of Saha, who scored an un­beaten 54 in the first in­nings, proved vi­tal to In­dia putting up de­cent to­tals.

In­dia’s pace duo of Shami and Ku­mar helped bowl out New Zealand for 204 in re­sponse to In­dia’s 316 in the first in­nings.

New Zealand pac­ers Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Neil Wag­ner, who shared 14 wick­ets be­tween them in the two in­nings, also en­joyed the seam­ing con­di­tions.

In­dia se­cured a 112-run lead in the first in­nings that proved vi­tal in out­play­ing the visi­tors, who lost reg­u­lar skip­per Kane Wil­liamson to a vi­ral in­fec­tion just be­fore the start of the match.

Ro­hit Sharma’s dom­i­nant 82 on Oc­to­ber 2 gave In­dia the up­per hand in its 250th Test at home.

Half-cen­turies from Chetesh­war Pu­jara (87) and Ajinkya Ra­hane (77) in the first in­nings also en­sured In­dia made a solid start.

The fi­nal Test will be played in In­dore start­ing on Oc­to­ber 8. –

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