India registered a win in the first test match of the ongoing home series against New Zealand, which was also the 500th test match for the Indian team. Stakes were already high even before the commencement of the match as India needed a win to boost the team’s confidence and that of Virat Kohli as the team captain.

New Zealand needed 341 runs with just 6 wickets in hand at the start of the fifth day and this was not an easy target to achieve. When the day started, Luke Ronchi(38*) and Mitchell Santner(8*) were on the crease.

Both the batsmen played in a composed manner, which was much needed for the Kiwis to at least take the match for a draw. This left the Indian bowlers craving for a wicket but Jadeja acted as the life saver for Kohli when he took Ronchi’s wicket. The end of this 102 runs stand gave Kohli the option to bring back Ashwin to the attack.

BJ Watling, the new man at crease, helped Santner to take forward the innings, adding 46 more runs to the total before the godly performance of the Indian bowlers started. With the ball changed at the drinks break, it was Mohammad Shami’s turn to show some reverse swings and that is what he did by taking two more wickets of Watling and Mark Craig. At Lunch, New Zealand was at 205/7 with Santner still at crease with 57 runs after patiently playing 160 balls.

Ashwin again came to the attack after the break and showed Santner(71) the way to pavilion which marked the end of Kiwis chances to take the match towards a draw. He then went on taking his sixth wicket of the innings in the form of Neil Wagner and recorded a fifth ten-wicket haul of his career.

This was the end of New Zealand’s innings with India winning the match by 197 runs.

Various new records were made in this match and some of them are:

1. This was India’s 500th test match.
2. R.Ashwin took his 200th test wicket becoming the fastest Indian bowler and second fastest bowler in the world to achieve this mark.
3. R.Ashwin also achieved his fifth ten-wicket haul in test matches.
4. Ravindra Jadeja recorded another Five wicket haul.His bowling average (15.60) is the best in Asia.

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26 September 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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