The big boys of New Zealand fast bowling, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, did the business with the old ball to seal their 100th Test win, on the fourth morning at Basin Reserve. Twenty-eight of those wins have come in matches that Boult and Southee have played together. Their pin-point planning and execution made sure India’s resistance on the third evening didn’t count for much. Boult started the slide, and Southee burst through the opening to bowl India out for 191, setting New Zealand’s batsmen a target of just nine runs. It ended India’s seven-match winning streak, and New Zealand’s run of three losses.
India began the day 39 behind with six wickets in hand and 15 overs to go the new ball, hoping to set New Zealand some sort of target, but Boult and Southee were excellent with the old ball. On a clear and still morning, which aids swing in Wellington, they switched from their bouncers plan to look for more traditional modes of dismissals. Boult looked to set Ajinkya Rahane up for the lbw, but the pitch didn’t have enough pace for that to succeed. So he went around the wicket to get one to seam away a touch. Rahane had to play the angle, but the movement away took his edge.
Then Southee got to his work of setting up batsmen. First up Hanuma Vihari who had toughed it out for 76 balls before this over started. Southee began with a full outswinger that didn’t tempt Vihari. Then he got closer and fuller, drawing a loose shot from Vihari, but not getting the edge. With the third ball, he scrambled the seam to play with the scrambled mind of the batsman. The ball pitched outside off and jagged back in. Vihari still had the outswinger in mind, and was bowled.
Full report to follow…
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.