India seals series win against New Zealand as Ashwin, Jayant take four-fors

After Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel dominated the third day, Jayant Yadav joined the party on Monday morning and picked four quick wickets to furrow the tail and hand New Zealand an embarrassing 372-run defeat. 

This was Team India’s 14th home series triumph since 2013.   -  AFP

India took just 43 minutes on Monday – the fourth morning of the second Test match – to bulldoze New Zealand’s lower middle-order and seal a convincing series win. This was Team India’s 14th home series triumph since 2013.

After Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel dominated the third day, Jayant Yadav joined the party on Monday morning and picked four quick wickets to furrow the tail and hand New Zealand an embarrassing 372-run defeat. 

Starting the proceedings at his favourite venue – he had scored a Test century in 2016 against England – Yadav toyed with the New Zealand batters and gave them no room to breathe. 

Already five wickets down and chasing a mammoth 540, New Zealand needed some sensible batting on the penultimate day. However, they failed to show the required discipline and application and collapsed for a mere 167.

As it happened| India vs New Zealand Highlights, 2nd Test Day 4: IND wins by 372 runs; Ashwin, Jayant pick four each

The young Rachin Ravindra (18, 50b) looked promising and did hit a couple of boundaries, but a perfect length delivery with the right amount of flight by Yadav saw the youngster getting an outside edge, offering a simple catch to Cheteshwar Pujara at second slip. 

There was a pall of gloom in the New Zealand dressing room as it lost Kayle Jamieson in the next few minutes. Yadav generated a sharp turn, trapping the tall Jamieson leg before. 

The touring team opted for a review, but the television umpire stayed with on-field umpire Nitin Menon’s original decision.

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With two back-to-back wickets, a confident India tightened the noose and the seasoned Tim Southee, too, walked back in a span of two deliveries. Attempting a big shot off Yadav, Southee stepped out but missed it completely – the ball rattling the stumps.  

It was now a matter of time before India sealed the deal. 

Will Somerville survived for nine minutes before he was caught at short leg by Mayank Agarwal off Yadav. As the other New Zealand batters surrendered meekly, Henry Nicholls, who scored 44 and spent 158 minutes at the crease, looked helpless. He could only add eight runs to his tally from the overnight score. 

Finally, a brilliant stumping by Wriddhiman Saha off an Ashwin delivery brought Nicholls’ end to hand India a comprehensive victory. 

It was always going to be an uphill task for New Zealand, but it was baffling to see it crumble without a fight on the fourth day. In the absence of regular captain Kane Williamson, the senior batters failed to step up. 

As Indian cricketers walked back to the pavilion after a highly satisfying victory, there were loud cheers for Yadav, who ended the day with enviable figures of 14-4-49-4 at his special venue!   

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