New Zeland 348 (Williamson 89, Taylor 44, Jamieson 44, Sharma 5-68, Ashwin 3-99) and 9 for 0 bars India 165 (Rahane 46, Jamieson 4-39, Southee 4-49) and 191 (Agarwal 58, Southee 5-61, Boult 4-39) with 10 wickets
New Zealand’s big boys in fast bowling, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, have done business with the old ball to seal their 100th Test victory on the fourth morning at Basin Reserve. Twenty-eight of these victories have come in games that Boult and Southee have played together. Timely planning and execution ensured that India’s resistance on the third evening did not matter much. Boult started the slide and Southee broke into the opening to hit India for 191, targeting New Zealand’s batsmen for only nine runs. He ended the streak in seven games of India and the New Zealand run of three defeats.
India started on day 39 behind with six wickets in hand and 15 overs to throw 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 quiet morning, which helps swing in Wellington, they went from the bouncer floor to looking for more traditional layoffs. Boult tried to set Ajinkya Rahane for the pound, but the pitch didn’t have enough pace for this to be successful. So he went around the wicket to get a touch. Rahane had to play the corner, but the away movement made him lose control.
So Southee started preparing the hitters. First, Hanuma Vihari, who had held out for 76 balls before it started. Southee began with a complete outswinger that did not tempt Vihari. Then he came closer and filled up more, pulling a free throw from Vihari, but without gaining the advantage. With the third ball, he scrambled the seam to play with the batter’s confused mind. The ball went out and returned. Vihari still had the stranger in mind and was thrown.
Southee did the same with R Ashwin, who had played with an outswinger, first ball, in the first innings. This time the hiker threw and hugged back to trap Ashwin in front. All seven wickets so far had fallen on these two pitchers, so both were ahead by five.
Boult could have sealed his when he drew a bat from Ishant Sharma with the last ball of his spell, but Tom Latham bombarded him short-legged. Boult had left to take a break before the new ball became available. Colin de Grandhomme soon took the uphill road from Sharma, but Southee now dropped him a short distance away. The second drop in the end helped him get high five. Before the new ball, however, de Grandhomme managed to overcome Sharma’s defenses.
With India only slightly ahead, Rishabh Pant had no choice but to chase the new ball. As he removed one from Southee’s pads, Boult pulled out a smart, fine-legged grip to make it a matter of time. And that matter of time was only three balls for Jasprit Bumrah, who led Southee to the second slide for a small trick to replace defender Daryl Mitchell.
The man he was replacing, Tom Blundell, came out to beat and help knock off the target, which was a positive sign after spending the second innings off the pitch with a shoulder injury he suffered while fielding in India .