Kohli and Dhoni lead India to victory

Unbroken stand of 96 gets hosts out of trouble and wins series against New Zealand

Image Credit: AP
Indians (from left) Ravichandran Ashwin, Virat Kohli, Pragyan Ojha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina and Umesh Yadav celebrate their victory over New Zealand.
Gulf News

Bengaluru: Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni bailed India out with an unbroken 96-run stand that took the hosts to a five-wicket victory in the second and final Test for a clean sweep in the series against New Zealand on Monday.

Off-spinner Jeetan Patel picked up three wickets and India were reduced to 166 for five at one stage, chasing 261 for victory, before Kohli (51 not out) and Dhoni (48 not out) came together to guide their team home.

The 23-year-old Kohli, who made 103 in the first innings, defended resolutely at the start, became more fluent as his innings progressed and got to his half century with three boundaries in an over off paceman Tim Southee.

Captain Dhoni was the more attacking of the two and finised the match off in a hurry with a boundary and a six in consecutive balls off Patel to spark the celebrations.

Patel looked the most dangerous of the New Zealand bowlers and extracted sharp turn and bounce off the pitch at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

India, who won the first Test in Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs, lost the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar (27), Cheteshwar Pujara (48) and Suresh Raina (0) after tea.

Youngster Pujara and veteran Tendulkar survived some nervy moments after the loss of openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in quick succession and added 69 for the third wicket.

Tendulkar was once again bowled for the third time in as many innings in the series while Daniel Flynn ran backwards at short leg to pull off a superb bat-pad catch off Patel to dismiss Pujara.

Brendon McCullum, filling in for regular wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk who was hit on the forearm while batting on Sunday, missed an easy stumping opportunity to dismiss Pujara on 37 off spinner Jeetan Patel.

Brisk start

Sehwag (38) and Gambhir (34) started India's second innings with great purpose, swatting the New Zealand pacemen around the ground to bring up a 50 partnership in eight overs.

The duo added 77 for the opening wicket before Sehwag, who hit seven fours and a six, was bowled by Patel when he danced down the wicket to the off-spinner but swiped inside the line of the ball, which went on to hit his off stump.

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was forced to introduce his spinner in the 12th over after the quick bowlers had made no impact, and the move immediately bore fruit.

Sehwag greeted Patel with a six over long-off and hit another four before he fell trying to repeat the shot.

Left-hander Gambhir looked in fine touch and hit some expansive drives for seven boundaries before he edged left-arm seamer Trent Boult to Taylor at first slip.

Earlier, India needed little time to wrap up New Zealand's second innings, taking the final wicket in the fifth over of the day to dismiss the visitors for 248.

New Zealand's final pair of Patel (22) and Boult (unbeaten on four) added a crucial 26 runs for the 10th wicket to take the lead past the 250-run mark.

Resuming on their overnight score of 232-9, Patel was given caught behind off paceman Zaheer Khan but was clearly unhappy with the decision and television replays suggested he had missed the ball completely.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished with figures of 5-69 to register his third five-wicket haul in the last four innings against New Zealand.