India replaced Pakistan as the world No 1 test team by defeating New Zealand with a margin of 178 runs in the second test at Kolkata. The hosts have clinched the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead. Black Caps lost the momentum after conceding a lead of 376 runs and their innings folded up for 197.
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 wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Besides Latham, Luke Ronchi was the only one to play an innings of significance, accounting for 32 runs (60 balls, 4×4).
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 October 8 which would be followed by a five-match ODI series.
Having extracted reverse swing with the old ball, Shami cleaned the tail after new ball was taken in the 80th over.
Trent Boult was the last wicket to fall today when he tried to pull a bouncer but instead top-edged to Murali Vijay, who completed a clean catch.
New Zealand desperately missed skipper and batting talisman Kane Williamson, who was ruled out of the match owing to illness.
Latham, however, stood out with a stellar knock but the left—hander lacked support at the other end, and the writing was on the wall after he was dismissed in the second over after tea.
Earlier resuming on 227 for eight, India were bundled out for 263 in 76.5 overs setting New Zealand an improbable target.
The highlight of the day’s play in India’s second innings was man of the man Saha, who remained unbeaten on 58.