BANGALORE – Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni steered India to a five-wicket win in the second Test against New Zealand in Bangalore today.
Kohli, who scored 103 in the first innings, made an unbeaten 51 while Dhoni finished on 48 not out as the hosts cruised to their victory target of 261 with a day to spare.
Gautam Gambhir (34), Virender Sehwag (38), Cheteshwar Pujara (48) and Sachin Tendulkar (27) all made useful contributions as India managed the fifth- highest fourth innings chase in their history.
New Zealand, who had been bowled out for 248 in the morning, gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they claimed three wickets for 14 runs.
Tim Southee bowled Tendulkar and then Jeetan Patel (3-68) made a double breakthrough, sending back Pujara and then Suresh Raina for a duck, as India slipped from 152-2 to 166-5.
However, Kohli and Dhoni combined for a second time in the match to get their team out of trouble, the pair putting on an unbroken alliance of 96.
With Kiwi spirits broken, they finished the match in a hurry, scoring the final 22 runs required from a mere seven deliveries. Dhoni sealed the win – which also secures a 2-0 series victory – with a huge six off Patel’s bowling.
India had been given an excellent start in their run chase by Gambhir and Sehwag, the openers putting on 77 in just 11.5 overs.
Sehwag smashed seven fours and a six off 32 balls before he was the first wicket to fall when he was bowled by Patel, while New Zealand claimed a second scalp six runs later when Gambhir edged Trent Boult to Ross Taylor at first slip.
Pujara and Tendulkar continued the good work with a 69-run stand but, after rain forced an early tea, the Black Caps battled back at the start of the evening session.
They must’ve sensed a real chance of glory when Raina became the fifth wicket to fall, only for Kohli and Dhoni to take the game away from them. The pair had already put on 122 in India’s first-innings total of 353.
New Zealand complete their tour with two Twenty20 matches, the first of which takes place in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.