Wellington: Shane Bond led a trio of disciplined pacemen to make a mockery of Indian batting line-up as New Zealand raced to a 10-wicket win in the opening Test with more than two days to spare here on Saturday.
Bond triggered a dramatic collapse with three big wickets in his incisive opening spell to help his team bundle India out for a meagre 121 on a lively Basin Reserve track on the third day. New Zealand, leading by 86, knocked off the 36 runs required to win the match for a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series. The second and last Test begins at Hamilton on December 19. Openers Lou Vincent (21) and Mark Richardson (14) remained unbeaten as New Zealand celebrated its 300th Test with an emphatic victory. Bond (four for 33) was splendidly supported by debutant Jacob Oram (three for 28) and Daryl Tuffey (three for 35) as India lasted just 38.1 overs in one of its worst overseas batting performances in recent years. India lived up to their reputation of 'lions at home and lambs abroad' and would have to wait longer for winning its first Test series outside the sub-continent since 1986. Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar top-scored with 51 in a feeble Indian batting display for the second time in the match, but without looking at his best during his two-hour stay at the crease. Tendulkar inside-edged a Bond no-ball on to his stumps when on three, survived a difficult chance on seven and then an easy one on 36 before becoming the last man to be dismissed. Luck finally deserted Tendulkar as he once again inside-edged a Bond delivery on to his wickets to become the bowler's fourth victim. The fast bowlers were backed by agile fielders as three outstanding catches were taken, with skipper Stephen Fleming showing the way with a low catch to his right at first slip to account for Parthiv Patel. Craig McMillan then timed his jump perfectly at deep point to hold an Ajit Agarkar cut and Scott Styris capped it with a one-handed catch to dismiss Zaheer Khan. The hosts' brilliant bowling and fielding show eventually overshadowed left-arm fast bowler Zaheer's maiden five-wicket haul (five for 53) in 23 Tests. Zaheer gave his team a chance to fight back, but the batsmen squandered it with a poor shot-selection against a disciplined, though not hostile, New Zealand pace attack. Bond, 27, wrecked the Indian top order in his sharp opening 8-5-8-3 spell, troubling the batsmen with pace and bounce. He produced the 'delivery of the day' in his seventh over when he bowled reliable Rahul Dravid, who had no clue to the inswinging yorker. Dravid was the man in form, having scored a gutsy 76 in the first innings. Opener Virender Sehwag failed for the second successive time when he was trapped leg before on the back foot in Bond's fourth over. Then came Bond's two-wicket over in which he accounted for Dravid and skipper Saurav Ganguly in the space of four balls. The Indian captain was caught behind after making just two. V V S Laxman suffered a nightmare when he edged Oram to first-slip Fleming to bag a pair. Earlier, New Zealand was all out for 247 after resuming at 201 for seven in reply to India's first innings total of 161. Zaheer tested the batsmen in his seven tight overs and removed Richardson (89) and Daniel Vettori (21) with the second new ball, taken after 84 overs. Richardson missed his third century as well as a rare feat of becoming only the second New Zealand batsman after Glen Turner to carry his bat through the innings. The left-handed opener was the eighth batsman to be dismissed, trapped leg before after adding just six to his overnight score of 83. He struck 10 fours in his 243- ball knock.
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