India notched up a mammoth 197-run win in their historic 500th cricket Test, bowling out New Zealand for 236 and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in Kanpur on Monday.
After setting the Kiwis a rather improbable target of 434, the Indian bowlers, lead by off-spinner
Ravichandran Ashwin (6/132), revelled in home conditions to rip through the visiting team's line-up with more than a session to spare.
Beginning the day at a precarious 93 for four, overnight New Zealand batsmen Luke Ronchi (80) and Mitchell Santner (71) frustrated the Indian bowlers for about 20 overs before delaying the inevitable.
The duo added 65 runs in the morning session but could not sustain the fight-back.
Ronchi’s mistake paved the way for a Kiwi slide downhill – the wicket-batsman played an extravagant slog sweep off Ravindra Jadeja, handing India the much desired opening wicket on day 5.
Ashwin (6/132) completed his fifth six-wicket haul by adding scalps of Santner, Ish Sodhi (17) and Neil Wagner (0) to his three wickets grabbed on Sunday.
Jadeja took one wicket, while Mohammed Shami, who got some reverse swing, picked out two batsmen in the morning session.
Ashwin grabbed the remaining three wickets in the post-lunch session to complete the rout.
The visitors, chasing a mammoth 434-run target, had a daunting task at hand to bat out three full sessions on the fifth day, which has always been a big challenge for tourists in India.
India recorded their 88th win on home turf win this victory, while New Zealand have remained without a win on Indian soil since 1998.
The teams will now travel to Kolkata for the second Test, scheduled to begin from Friday.
Earlier, India paceman Mohammed Shami struck twice after New Zealand batsman Ronchi gifted away his wicket.
Ronchi handed India the advantage on Day 5 when he went for a sweep slog against Jadeja and handed a top-edge to Aswhin.
The mistake ended his 102-run stand with Santner, who scored his maiden Test fifty.
Santner remained solid from one end and defied the Indian bowlers for the next 10 overs with BJ Watling. Together they were involved in a 36-run stand, which was broken by Shami when he trapped the wicket-keeper batsman.
In his next over, Shami breached the defence of Mark Craig, who has been ruled out of the series due to a side strain.
The two wickets in successive overs, pegged New Zealand back.
Santner has struck five fours and two sixes in his 160-ball fighting knock, and had Ish Sodhi (2) for company at the break.
Batting with utmost caution, the overnight New Zealand players took 19 balls to score their first run this morning but after getting their eyes in, Ronchi and Santner negotiated the spin confidently to keep the hosts waiting for an early breakthrough.
Both, Jadeja and Ashwin flighted the ball through the air opting full length most of the time. Ronchi comfortably drove Jadeja in the cover region and Ashwin did not mind using his feet.
The two Kiwi batsmen soon started to score at a brisk pace with Santner even slog-sweeping Jadeja for a huge six over mid-wicket.
After persisting with Jadeja and Ashwin for 12 overs, India captain Virat Kohli asked paceman Umesh Yadav to bowl.
They frustrated India for the first hour and the hosts struck in the first over after drinks break when Ronchi was guilty of slogging a Jadeja ball.