Pacer Tim Southee claims five-for as New Zealand thrash India by 10 wickets for historic 100th Test win

Wellington: India have been dealt their first big blow in the ongoing World Test Championship. And it took an inspired performance by New Zealand to halt the visitors’ 7-match winning streak. 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 launch a famous 10-wicket win in the 1st Test of the 2-match series in Wellington. The teams will now travel to Christchurch for the final match of what has already been a month-long tour.
Fans of the Indian team would have hoped for a better showing from the batsmen in the 2nd innings after being bowled for 165 in the first. As Ajikya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari took the crease on Monday, there was some hope of a fightback on an increasingly flat-looking deck. Those hopes lasted just 21 balls.
In just the 3rd over of the 4th day Rahane (29), top-scorer from the 1st innings, nicked behind an outswinger from Trent Boult which pitched just short-of-length. In the very next over Vihari (15) was clean bowled by Tim Southee by a scrambled-seam inswinger which pitched on a length but evaded Vihari’s bat that was expecting an outswinger.
This left the young Rishabh Pant at the crease with only the bowlers for company while his team was still in deficit. He did find an able partner in Ishant Sharma (12) as the duo took India into the lead. A flurry of well-controlled 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. Thereafter 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 took just 79 minutes for New Zealand to wrap up the Indian innings as Tim Southee (5 for 61) picked up the 10th 5-wicket-haul of his career. Trent Boult finished with 4 for 39.
This is the 11th loss under Virat Kohli for India and curiously all these reverses have come after the captain has lost the toss. But the Wellington defeat is the 1st loss in terms of wickets under Kohli as all 10 other losses have been in terms of runs and/or innings. This happens to be the 100th Test match win for New Zealand and they are now the 7th nation to the feat.
The 2nd Test starts in Christchurch from February 29.