Tim Southee's four wickets in the morning bundled India out for 191 in their second innings, with New Zealand scoring the nine required runs without loss to claim a 1-0 lead in the two-match series at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli & Co suffered their first loss in the ICC World Test Championship and the India skipper has identified one area which pushed them out of the game.
Resuming on 144 for four, and trailing by 39 runs, India would have been hopeful of at least giving their bowlers a chance to give the hosts a scare in the fourth innings. But Trent Boult struck in his second over of the day, using the angle from round the wicket to the right-handed Anjikye Rahane to induce an edge behind, the batsman departing for 29.
It was all Tim Southee from thereon. He knocked off Hanuma Vihari before adding Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, and Rishabh Pant to his tally. Pant and Sharma tried to stitch a partnership and added 27 runs but they fell prey to Southee's brilliance, who finished with nine wickets in the match. With nine runs needed for victory, Tom Latham and Tom Blundell, the New Zealand openers, took only 10 balls to ease past the target, and secure New Zealand's 100th Test win.
Virat Kohli, speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, said that New Zealand tailenders adding 120+ runs for the last three wickets on day three pushed them out of the game. However, he was happy with the competitive effort of his boys but vouched to be more disciplined in the next game in Christchurch.
"The first innings really put us behind in the game and the lead put us under pressure. As a bowling group, we have been pretty competitive in bowling good channels for long periods of time. Till about 7 wickets, we were pretty good. The wicket did get better. The last 3 wickets and those 120 runs hurt us and pushed us out of the game. Overall, we did put in a good effort but can still be more disciplined," Kohli said at the end of the game.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli also offered his support to young Prithvi Shaw, who has faced the wrath of the fans for getting out playing reckless shots. Shaw, who made a scintillating debut at home against West Indies in 2018, failed to make an impact on his debut scoring 16 and 14 runs respectively in the two innings.
"Prithvi has played only two games away from home. He is a natural stroke maker and would figure out things to get the runs going," Kohli concluded.