Match report: Ind v NZ – 2nd Test, Day 4
Bengaluru, Sep 3: India have won the second Test to win the two-match series against New Zealand 2-0. Needing 261 to win in the fourth innings, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni struck a valuable 96-run stand to dig the hosts out of trouble from 166 for five and take them home with five wickets in hand.
Earlier, the New Zealand innings wrapped up for 248 from an overnight score of 232 for nine. Jeetan Patel (22) hit a boundary each off Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan. This was before he was adjudged caught behind off a Zaheer Khan delivery; television replays, however, suggested that Patel’s bat was nowhere near the ball.
Needing 261 to win, the Indian openers, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sewhag, set about the run chase in style. With the NZ pacers struggling to hit the right length, Gambhir and Sehwag dealt in boundaries to take India to 67 for no loss at the first drinks break. However, the visitors made a comeback in the last 40 minutes before lunch. Jeetan Patel bowled Sehwag when the flamboyant opener danced down the track to hit the offspinner out of the ground only for the ball to give him the slip and hit the off stump. With Sehwag gone at the score of 77, the boundaries seemed to dry up and that perhaps led to Gambhir’s dismissal; the left-hander edged a delivery from Trent Boult to Ross Taylor at first slip. He made 34.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Sachin Tendulkar, who both survived a few anxious moments before lunch, dug in when play began in the second session. The pair took India to 147 with Tendulkar’s exquisite square drive off Tim Southee to the backward point boundary being the highlight of that passage of play. New Zealand, though, missed one clear chance when Brendon McCullum fluffed an opportunity to stump Pujara off Jeetan Patel’s bowling, when the batsman was on 37.
A brief drizzle about seventy minutes into the second session then forced the game to be stopped and an early tea break to be taken. When the game finally resumed at 2:20 pm, the hosts lost three wickets in a hurry to bring the visitors back into the game. Sachin Tendulkar (27) was cleaned up for the third time in this series as he looked to close the bat on a fullish delivery from Tim Southee, while Cheteshwar Pujara (48) was caught superbly by Daniel Flynn running backwards from forward short leg off Patel’s bowling. With India needing a big partnership to revive their run-chase, Suresh Raina (0), inexplicably, charged down to Patel only to miss the ball completely and have his stumps dislodged.
With the score reading 166 for five, and the hosts needing another 95 runs to win, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni steered India home. The pair batted sensibly with Kohli looking solid as ever and Dhoni steering the ball through the covers and past point to keep the scoreboard ticking. The pair brought up their 50-run partnership off 82 balls, before exploding right at the end with India in touching distance of victory. MS Dhoni (48*) hit the wining runs with a four and a six off Jeetan Patel as India won with five wickets to spare. Kohli remained unbeaten on 51; his third 50-plus score of the series.
At end of Day 4: New Zealand 1st innings 365/10 in 90.1 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 71, Pragyan Ojha 5/99) and New Zealand 2nd innings 248/10 in 73.2 overs (James Franklin 41, R Ashwin 5/69) lost to India 1st innings 353/10 in 96.5 overs (Virat Kohli 103, MS Dhoni 62, Tim Southee 7/64) and India 2nd innings 262/5 in 63.2 overs (Virat Kohli 51*, Jeetan Patel 3/68) by five wickets
At end of Day 3: New Zealand 1st innings 365/10 in 90.1 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 71, Pragyan Ojha 5/99) and New Zealand 2nd innings 232/9 in 69.0 overs (James Franklin 41, R Ashwin 5/69); India 1st innings 353/10 in 96.5 overs (Virat Kohli 103, MS Dhoni 62, Tim Southee 7/64)
At end of Day 2: New Zealand 1st innings 365/10 in 90.1 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 71, Pragyan Ojha 5/99); India 1st innings 283/5 in 78.0 overs (Virat Kohli 93*, Suresh Raina 55, Tim Southee 3/35)
At end of Day 1: New Zealand 1st innings 328/6 in 81.3 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 63*, Martin Guptill 53, Pragyan Ojha 4/90)
Man-of-the-Match: Virat Kohli for his 154 runs in the game, including a century in the first innings
Man of the Series: R Ashwin for his phenomenal 18 wickets in two Tests.