India beat New Zealand by 178 runs, claim No.1 Test ranking

Chasing a target of 376 runs, New Zealand were bundled out for 197


Wriddhiman Saha plays a shot on the third day of the second Test between India and New Zealand in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters
Wriddhiman Saha plays a shot on the third day of the second Test between India and New Zealand in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters

Kolkata: India pulled off a brilliant all-round performance to trounce New Zealand by 178 runs in the second Test to clinch the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead which also propelled them to the top of the ICC rankings dethroning arch-rivals Pakistan, in Kolkata on Monday.

Virat Kohli’s men wrapped up the series-deciding victory on the fourth day of the match after setting the Black Caps a mammoth target of 376 runs to chase. The visitors showed some spark to start with but their chase floundered in the post-tea session and the side was bowled out for 197 in 81.1 overs in what was India’s 250th home Test.

The home team had earlier finished its second innings at 263 in 76.5 overs. Following Rohit Sharma’s 82-run knock on Sunday, Wriddhiman Saha also picked up his second successive half-century of the match by scoring a 120-ball 58, laced with half a dozen fours.

Faced with an improbable chase, New Zealand were off to a confident start before things went downhill in the final session of the day. Opener Tom Latham top-scored for them with a 148-ball 74, which included eight hits to the fence. His innings gave New Zealand some hope of springing a surprise but off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin put paid to any such eventuality in just the second over after tea, inducing an edge off his bat which was comfortably taken by Saha.

Besides Latham, Luke Ronchi was the only one to play an innings of significance, accounting for 32 runs (60 balls, 4x4). However, rest of the Black Caps’ line-up failed to apply itself on the tricky track, exploited well by both the pacers and spinners.

Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the top Indian wicket-takers with hauls of 3/82 and 3/41 respectively. Among the pacers, Mohammed Shami grabbed 3/46 in a fine concerted bowling performance. The two teams will now move to Indore for the third Test starting 8 October which would be followed by a five-match ODI series. PTI

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