Indian seamer Ishant Sharma used the green-top conditions to maximum use as he registered his fifth five-wicket haul, a career-best 6 for 51 on Day 1 of the second Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Highlights | Scorecard | Match Report | Stats )
The lanky bowler carried forward his brilliant form of the first Test at Auckland, where he recorded his second-best match figures of 9 for 162. He is by far the most successful bowler in the series with 15 wickets so far.
MS Dhoni was once again lucky at the toss as he elected to field after calling it correctly on a wicket that was tailor-made for fast bowlers.
While the opening bowlers Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami got the ball to move eitherway and keep the Kiwi openers -- Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton -- on their toes, it was first-change bowler Ishant who provided India the first breakthrough.
He started off with a very well directed bouncer to Rutherford who couldn't get out of the way of the ball and an edge off the glove goes to Murali Vijay at first slip.
Just 10 minutes later, Ishant sent the other opener packing. After testing Fulton constantly with good line and length, he trapped him plumb in front of the stumps.
Ishant's next victim was Kiwi debutant Tom Latham. The youngster struggled to settle in and was dismissed for a duck, caught by MS Dhoni behind the stumps. At this stage, the Kiwis were down to 26/3.
Corey Anderson, who was looking to express himself in the post-lunch session was Ishant's fourth scalp. Ishant was bowling round the wicket to him when he tried to flick a delivery on the leg side but an inside edge struck him on the pads and flew to Virat Kohli in the slips.
Ishant's fifth came when he dismissed BJ Watling for a duck, once again caught in the slip cordon. His sixth was Tim Southee, who after hitting some lusty blows, was caught by Vijay at mid-wicket. Kiwis eventually folded for 192 in the third session of play.
This was Ishant's second fifer in as many matches and he now has two five-wicket hauls each against New Zealand and West Indies.