About 43 minutes into the day’s play, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (4/34 off 22.3 overs) benefitted from a reflex stumping by Wriddhiman Saha and bagged his 300th wicket on Indian soil to finish the proceedings in a jiffy as New Zealand was all-out for 167.
The margin of victory is India’s biggest-ever at home. Starting the day at 140 for 5, the tourist had no chance of reaching the winning target of 540 but its batters fell like a pack of cards. Experienced off-spinner Jayant, who had not looked in a good rhythm on the third evening, found his mojo on the fourth morning with a career-best spell of 14-4-49-4 on his comeback Test.
It is to be recalled that the 31-year-old Jayant last played a long-format match for India in 2017. “On the [fourth] morning, the moisture in the wicket helped. You could see the difference between last (Sunday) evening and this (Monday) morning; it was getting much more bite. It was important to put the ball in the right areas,” Jayant said.
Jayant didn’t turn the ball a lot but used the rough to good effect while bowling from the Tata End as he pitched it on the cracks and got extra bounce. Rachin Ravindra (18) edged one to second slip after he was drawn forward by the flight while Kyle Jamieson (0) tried to play an off-break on the back-foot to be plumb in front.
Tim Southee (0) went for a slog to be bowled, with Kanpur Test hero Will Sommerville (1) giving a simple bat-pad catch to the forward short-leg fielder.
BRIEF SCORES: India 325 & 276/7 decl. bt New Zealand 62 & 167 in 56.3 overs (D Mitchell 60, H Nicholls 44, R Ashwin 4/34, Jayant 4/49)
372 India’s margin of victory in the second Test, its highest in terms of runs. Its previous best was the 337-run win over South Africa in 2015
Mumbai Cricket Association on Monday felicitated New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who bagged all 10 India wickets in the first innings. MCA president Vijay Patil handed Ajaz a scoresheet and a memento