Kolkata - India's
bowlers propelled the hosts to a comprehensive 178-run win over New
Zealand in the second Test on Monday, 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
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 towards the end of the day to rattle New
Zealand's middle-order with the wickets of Mitchell Santner and BJ
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
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 Sunday 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.