sport

Sharma leads the way for India

India gained early control of the second Test against New Zealand as Ishant Sharma had a first day to savour in Wellington.

Paceman Sharma took career-best figures of six for 51 as New Zealand crumbled to 192 all out, before playing a role with the bat as nightwatchman when India replied and reached 100 for two at the close.

Shikhar Dhawan led the Indian assault as he raced to 71 not out, with Sharma seeing off 16 balls to end the day on three.

India won the toss and elected to bowl, looking for early inroads after their 40-run defeat in Auckland, where Sharma also took six first-innings wickets.

It looked a shrewd decision by captain MS Dhoni, who saw Sharma reduce New Zealand to 26 for three in a lethal spell that at one stage saw him with figures of three for one.

Hamish Rutherford was first to perish, out for 12 with the team total on 23, as Murali Vijay held on at first slip, and Peter Fulton fell for 13 when he was pinned leg before in Sharma's next over.

Tom Latham, the 21-year-old batsman making his New Zealand Test debut, suffered a first-innings duck as he became the third to fall, edging through to wicketkeeper Dhoni.

There was some resilience from within the New Zealand ranks, with Kane Williamson top-scoring by making 47 and lower-order batsmen Jimmy Neesham and Tim Southee weighing in with 33 and 32 respectively.

Sharma and Mohammed Shami kept India on top though. Shami backed up Sharma by taking four for 70.

India's reply began in a jittery fashion as Vijay was eked out for two by Southee, caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling, but Dhawan raced to a half-century. He lost second-wicket partner Cheteshwar Pujara for 19, but Sharma proved reliable for the closing overs.

New Zealand's win in the opening game leaves India needing to win to square the two-match series.