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Ashwin bamboozles Kiwis, India win 500th Test

 Agencies |  2016-09-27 21:58:08.0  |  Kanpur, UP

Ashwin bamboozles Kiwis, India win 500th Test

India notched up a mammoth 197-run win in their historic 500th cricket Test to assert their supremacy in home conditions, bowling out New Zealand for 236 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Monday.

After setting the Kiwis a rather improbable target of 434, the Indian bowlers, specifically senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (6/132), revelled in home conditions to rip through the visiting team's line-up with more than a session to spare.

Beginning the day at a precarious 93 for four, overnight New Zealand batsmen Luke Ronchi (80) and Mitchell Santner (71) frustrated the Indian bowlers for only about 20 overs by adding 65 runs in the morning session but that only delayed the inevitable.

The Black Caps raised hopes of a fight till the time Ronchi and Santner held fort but it all went downhill for them when the former played an extravagant slog sweep off Ravindra Jadeja, handing India the opening.

Ashwin (6/132) completed his fifth six-wicket haul by adding scalps of Santner and Ish Sodhi (17) and Neil Wagner (0) to his three wickets grabbed on Sunday when he had become the second-fastest man to take 200-Test wickets.

Jadeja took one wicket on Monday while Mohammed Shami, who got some reverse swing, scalped two batsmen in the morning session.

Ashwin grabbed the remaining three wickets in the post-lunch session to complete India's victory, their 88th on home turf.

Both the teams will now travel to Kolkata, where the second Test is scheduled to begin from Friday.

The visitors, chasing a mammoth 434-run target, had a daunting task at hand to bat out three full sessions on the fifth day, which has always been a big challenge for tourists in India.

With this win, India have taken their unbeaten tally on home soil to 11 matches. New Zealand, on the other hand, have remained without a win on the Indian soil since 1998.

The two Kiwi batsmen soon started to score at a brisk pace with Santner even slog-sweeping Jadeja for a huge six over the mid-wicket region. After persisting with Jadeja and Ashwin for 12 overs, India captain Virat Kohli asked paceman Umesh Yadav to bowl. They frustrated India for the first hour and the hosts struck in the first over after drinks break when Ronchi was guilty of slogging a Jadeja ball.

That dismissal ended the Black Caps hopes of saving the match as rest of the line-up failed to give Santner the support he needed to negotiate the day. It was Ronchi, who handed India the opening when he went for a sweep slog against Jadeja and ended up handing a top-edge to Aswhin at point.

After Ronchi's departure, Santner remained solid from one end and defied the Indian bowlers for the next 10 overs with BJ Watling (18). 

Brief Scores 
India 377/5. (Pujara 78; Santner 2/79) & 318 (Vijay 65; Boult 4/67) beat New Zealand 236 (Ronchi 80; Ashwin 6/132) & 262 (Williamson 75; Jadeja 5/73) by 197 runs

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