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India canter to victory as Jayant, Ashwin return four-fors

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The 372-run margin of victory is India’s biggest in terms of runs, and also New Zealand’s biggest loss

India 325 (Agarwal 150, Axar 52, Ajaz 10-119) and 276 for 7 dec (Agarwal 62, Ajaz 4-106) beat New Zealand 62 (Ashwin 4-8, Siraj 3-19) and 167 (Mitchell 60, Nicholls 44, Ashwin 4-34, Jayant 4-49) by 372 runs

Jayant Yadav struck thrice in the first half hour of the fourth morning and four times in nine legal deliveries to finish with career-best figures of 4 for 49, as India wrapped up their biggest win in terms of runs – 372 – and also handed New Zealand their biggest loss. The result sealed the series 1-0 for the hosts.
Overnight batters Henry Nicholls and Rachin Ravindra played out the first 20 minutes against Jayant and R Ashwin, with both bowlers beating the outside edge nearly every over. Jayant was more wayward of the two and was punished for fours by Ravindra whenever he pitched short outside off. Ravindra collected two fours in the third over of the morning and two more four overs later.

Between the first two of those fours, Ravindra also survived a very close lbw shout when Jayant struck him in front of middle stump, but umpire Nitin Menon adjudged it not out. India didn’t review despite the close shout and ball-tracking later showed it was clipping off for umpire’s call, which wouldn’t have overturned the decision anyway had India reviewed.

Jayant ensured India didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough though. As soon as Ravindra swept him for back-to-back fours past backward square leg, Jayant drew his outside edge for a catch at second slip to start the march towards victory.

In his next over, he drew sharp turn from outside off to trap Kyle Jamieson lbw for a duck. Two balls later, he rattled the stumps when Tim Southee danced down to miss a big heave also for a duck, and three balls later, in his next over, Jayant bagged his fourth by getting Will Somerville caught at the second short-leg fielder who had just been brought in.

3:20

WATCH - India cruise to record 372-win victory as Ashwin removes Nicholls

WATCH – India cruise to record 372-win victory as Ashwin removes Nicholls

Ashwin then wrapped up victory in the next over with his 300th Test wicket at home and also his 50th this year. Nicholls had blocked plenty of deliveries from Ashwin the previous evening and this morning around the off stump carefully by pressing forward regularly, but as soon as he stepped out of the crease to attack, Ashwin’s flight and turn went past the swinging bat and Wriddhiman Saha completed a quick stumping to dismiss the batter for 44.

Ashwin finished with 8 for 42 in the match and spinners lapped up 33 of the 36 wickets that fell to bowlers, apart from Tom Blundell’s run out on the third evening.

Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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