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New Zealand
World Test Championship

Clinical New Zealand trounce India to secure 2-0 sweep

NZ v Ind, 2nd Test, Day 3, report

Trent Boult and Tim Southee made light work of the Indian lower order, before fifties from openers Tom Latham and Tom Blundell set New Zealand up for a seven-wicket victory at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

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Resuming the day at a precarious 90/6, India looked desperate to hit their way out of trouble, with Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant trying to go hard.

But with the ball moving about sharply, and New Zealand's bowlers consistently nailing their mark, that was never going to be a fruitful option. Vihari was the first to fall, tickling one down leg to be caught splendidly by BJ Watling off Tim Southee.

Pant fell in the next over, aimlessly poking at one outside off from Trent Boult. Ravindra Jadeja threatened to add a few crucial runs in the end, with two boundaries, including a six, but was always in danger of running out of partners.

The innings came to an end with a run out, after Jasprit Bumrah tried to charge down for a single that was never available. He tried to scurry back after Trent Boult missed the direct hit, but New Zealand captain Kane Williamson calmly collected the ball and ran in to break the stumps, leaving Jadeja stranded on 16, which was the second-highest score of India's second innings, after Cheteshwar Pujara's 24.

Defending just 131, India would have hoped, and even expected, to pick up early wickets, given the amount of spice in the pitch, but Latham and Blundell rode the storm.

They ground their way to a 46-run stand at lunch, but came out with far more attacking intent in the second session. They put anything too wide or too full away with ease. Despite the pace in the pitch, they were also keen to take on the short ball, and they made good connection for the most part.

Latham was on 52, and New Zealand on 103, when he finally tickled an attempted pull shot to the keeper. Williamson was caught out for 5 when he awkwardly defended at a Bumrah bouncer, and the bowler then got one to seam back in to castle Blundell for 55. But by then, the hosts needed only 11 runs, which Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls gave them.

With that win, New Zealand claimed all 120 points from the series to move to third on the points table, 34 points clear of fourth-placed England but still trailing second-placed Australia by 116 points. India continue to lead the table with 360 points.

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