1st Test: New Zealand thrash India by 10 wickets, take 1-0 series lead

24-02-2020

Wellington, New Zealand thrashed India by 10 wickets in the opening Test and finished the game with one full day and a half to spare, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series here on Monday. Resuming their 2nd innings at 144/4 - still, 39 runs behind the hosts - India were bundled out by Tim Southee and Co for 191 handing the Kiwis a target of 9 runs which they duly completed in 10 balls to register a famous 10-wicket win. Starting the day, India lost the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari for the addition of only four runs to put the Kiwis on top.

The fall of Ravichandran Ashwin, trapped by Tim Southee, left the visitors reeling at 162 for seven, still trailing by 21 runs on a Basin Reverse pitch where the Indian batsmen were severely tested by Trent Boult and company. This left the young Rishabh Pant at the crease with only the bowlers for company. He did find an able partner in Ishant Sharma (12) as the duo took India into the lead. A few good strokes slowly and steadily avoided the innings defeat for India as Ishant was dropped twice in a space of 10 balls by Tom Latham and Tim Southee respectively.

It was Colin de Grandhomme who finally got rid of Sharma by getting him lbw with India just 6 runs ahead. Then, it was a matter of just a few minutes as first Pant (25) and then Shami (2) departed to hand the hosts a 9-run target. New Zealand didn't have any trouble whatsoever in racking up the victory by 10 wickets and bagging 60 World Test Championship points. It was Black Caps's 100th Test win. Returning from the, Boult finished with figures of 4/39, while his pace partner Southee picked up 5 wickets for 61 runs.

Earlier, opting to field after winning the toss, New Zealand bowled out India for 165 in their first innings and then, riding skipper Kane Williamson's 89 and useful knocks by Colin de Grandhomme and debutant Kyle Jamieson, made 348 for a big lead of 183 runs. India's last defeat in Test cricket was against Australia at Perth during the 2018-19 series but the loss at the Basin Reserve would hurt them more because the visitors have not surrendered in such fashion in recent times.

New Zealand now have 120 points in the World Test championship and India stayed on top with 360 points. The second Test will begin on February 28 in Christchurch. Brief scores: India 165 all out & 191 all out in 81 overs (Mayank Agarwal 58; Trent Boult 4/39, Tim Southee 5/61). New Zealand: 348 all out in 100.2 overs and nine for no loss in 1.4 overs.

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