Brief Scores: India 377/5 dec. (Pujara 78; Santner 2/79) & 318 (Vijay 65; Boult 4/67) beat New Zealand 236 (Ronchi 80; Ashwin 6/132) & 262 (Williamson 75; Jadeja 5/73) by 197 runs
Kanpur: Chasing down a target of 434 was never a realistic equation for New Zealand and with only six wickets in hand going in to the final day of India’s 500th Test match, the question was how soon will India wrap the 1st India vs New Zealand Test match at Green Park, Kanpur to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. While New Zealand delayed the inevitable with good resistance in the morning session, India broke down their defence to register a thumping 197-run win 14.3 overs in to the second session.
After Mohammad Shami had claimed two quick wickets late in the morning session with reverse swing, Ravichandran Ashwin completed the formalities taking the remaining three wickets to end up with 6 for 132 in the second innings. With that he completed his fifth 10-wicket haul in Tests. He finished with match figures of 10 for 225.
NZ’s Mitchell Santner resisted well to delay India’s win but was the first wicket to fall in the post lunch session when Ashwin ripped one to the legside. The ball turned and jumped viciously to open up Santner and the batsman ended up outside edging the ball to Rohit Sharma at silly point. He made 71 off 179 deliveries. Four overs later, Ashwin, with the new ball taken, saw Ish Sodhi moving across the crease and sent in a seam up delivery that crashed in to the leg stump. Neil Wagner was the final wicket to fall when he misread a carrom ball from Ashwin and was trapped in front.
Shane Jurgensen, New Zealand’s bowling coach had said that NZ will have to fight till the end to save match and the fight was shown by Luke Ronchi (80) and Santner in the morning session. The duo chanced their arms and scored runs at every possible opportunity to add 65 runs to their overnight partnership of 37 in 20.4 overs.
Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did get appreciable turn and bounce from the Green Park strip but failed to get any breakthrough early. Similar to the first innings, Ronchi used his feet to great effect. He rocked back early to the deliveries which were marginally short and came forward without much apprehension to the ones tossed up. But a lapse in concentration right after drinks break led to Ronchi’s dismissal after he had scored 80 off 120 balls with the help of nine fours and a six. He went for a slog sweep to a flatter delivery from Jadeja and playing against the turn, managed a leading edge to point