SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: India made a mockery of McLean Park’s billing as a batting paradise as they rolled New Zealand for 157 in Napier on Wednesday, with only captain Kane Williamson showing any resistance.
New Zealand were all out with 12 overs remaining, having opted to bat first, as Williamson struck a hard-fought 64.
But the remainder of the New Zealand batting line-up failed to cope with the initial swing of Mohammed Shami and were then tied up in knots by the spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Yadav finished with four for 39 and Chahal took two for 43, while Shami had three for 19 off six overs.
While the innings started amid talk of a runfest, Shami worked from a different script as he bowled Martin Guptill with his fifth delivery to open his New Zealand tour with a wicket maiden.
He found movement both ways off the pitch and bowled Colin Munro in his next over, leaving New Zealand with its top two batsmen– Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor — in the middle just 21 balls into the innings.
Both struggled initially with a Williamson edge off Shami falling just short of Virat Kohli at point while Taylor twice survived run out opportunities.
After 13 overs, when New Zealand were 43 for two, Williamson and Taylor opened up against Vijay Shankar, taking nine off one over.
But it was only a brief flurry before India struck again when a lazy shot from Taylor saw him caught and bowled by Chahal for 24.
In the following over, Williamson made a mess of pulling Shankar to fine leg but fortunately for him Kedar Jadhav made an even bigger mess of taking what should have been a regulation catch and the ball spilled to the ground.
Tom Latham, with a reputation for being a quality player of spin, faced 10 balls for 11 runs when he was the second caught-and-bowled wicket for the leg-spinner Chahal.
Henry Nicholls (12) and Mitchell Santner (14) followed in quick succession.
As has so often happened with New Zealand, Williamson was saddled with the role of getting his side out of trouble.
But on 64 he was deceived by a Yadav leg break and was caught by Shankar at long-on to leave New Zealand at 146 for seven.
The last three wickets of Doug Bracewell, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult could add only 11 runs in five overs.