1st Test, Day 3: India vs New Zealand - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
2nd Indian Innings
Over 25 || Score 87/1
So, at the end of third days play, India were at 87 for one in their second innings and need 320 more runs to win the first Test at Auckland, whereas, the hosts need nine wickets to seal the match.
On a dramatic third day, first India were bowled out for 202 after resuming at 130 for four to concede a lead of 301 runs in the first innings. But then Indian bowlers bowled brilliantly to bundled down the hosts for mere 105 runs. India required 406 runs to win the match and they have already scored 87 runs and lost their one wicket. But the bowler who has stolen the limelight today was none other than Mohammed Shami, who scalped three early wickets and created a havoc in the NZ camp.
Over 22 || Score 77/1
Pujara and Dhawan are playing NZ bowlers with an ease. And slowly but steadily Pujara has also started looking for boundaries. In fact, in the 22nd over bowled by spinner Sodhi, he launched him for a six over mid-wicket region. Both of them have added 41 runs so far for the second wicket. Dhawan is just eight runs away from his fifty, whereas Pujara is on nineteen.
Over 15 || Score 56/1
Dhawan is looking in good nick. He is playing his natural game and hitting boundaries on loose deliveries. On the other end, Pujara is as calm and as composed as ever. Fifteen more overs are left in the today's play and if India need to consolidate their chances to win the match, these two batsmen have to play till the very end of the day. In between India have also crossed the mark of 50 runs in the 14th over.
Over 10 || Score 41/1
Vijay Out. While chasing the formidable total of 406, India lost their first wicket in the form of Murali Vijay. Southee was the breakthrough bowler for the home side. Vijay tried to place the ball towards fine leg but got the thin edge of his bat and wicketkeeper Watling took the catch. Vijay got out after scoring 13 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara is the next man in for India, after the fall of first Indian wicket. Another Indian opener Dhawan is still at the crease playing on 26.
M Vijay c Watling b Southee 13 (21b )
Over 5 || Score 24/0
Both the Indian openers – Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan – have a good chance to shine by giving India a solid start, when the team needed it the most. Vijay is getting good starts but he has failed so far to convert them into big ones, whereas Dhawan who is out of form for last few matches has to perform today, if he wants to remain in the team. India needed 406 to win the first Test of the series, which is a difficult task considering the fact that India scored mere 202 runs in their first innings. Meanwhile, both the openers are looking solid at the moment and playing positive cricket as they have managed to score 24 runs in the first five overs.
New Zealand 2nd innings
Over 41.2 || Score 105
Ishant Sharma took the last wicket to wrap up NZ's second innings, as he sent N Wagner back to the pavilion. It's his third wicket of the innings. NZ second innings collapsed quite dramatically, as they score above 500 runs in their first innings but in the second only managed to score 105-odd runs. Now India need 406 runs to win this match, whereas the hosts require ten wickets to seal the first Test.
N Wagner c Jadeja b I Sharma 14 (21b)
Over 38 || Score 90/9
Two wickets in an over by Ishant. He first cleaned up Walter in the second ball of the 36th over and then after a gap of two balls sent back IS Sodhi for a five ball duck. India is certainly back in the match. Now India is looking for the last wicket to sum up NZ's second innings.
IS Sodhi c RG Sharma b I Sharma 0 (5b)
BJ Watling b I Sharma 11 (72b)
Over 34.4 || Score 78/7
Now, its Ravindra Jadeja's turn to celebrate with the ball. The Indian spinner removed an ominous looking Tim Southee with a full, straight delivery, which the Kiwi batsman failed to keep it low. Cheteshwar Pujara took the catch at mid-wicket.
With seven wicket down, it is distinctly possible to bundle out the Kiwi innings under 100 runs. In such an scenario, India's second innings target will be below 400, which isn't that bad considering how the the Kiwis have controlled most part of the match.
Tim Southee c Cheteshwar Pujara b Jadeja 14 (15b)
Over 29.4 || Score 63/6
That's one Rahane.
A rare moment for the fielder to get the accolade.
Incredible reflex action from Rahane to hold on to a travelling ball, that too from the blade of someone like Taylor.
Ross Taylor c Ajinkya Rahane b Zaheer Khan 41 (73b)
Now the lead is 364 with four wickets in hand. Expect some fireworks from the Kiwis tail, as there is no point hanging around.
Over 25 || Score 54/5
It's calm all around here at Eden Park. And Ross Taylor is quietly, effectively building his own innings.
In Ishant Sharma's fifth over, Taylor pommeled the pacer rather ruthlessly, taking a boundary off the second ball and launching one over short fine-leg boundary for a six.
Taylor has 37 runs from 58 balls with four hits to the boundary and that six. His partner, Watling is on 5 from his share of 42 balls. A true proponent of Test cricket!
Over 20 || Score 38/5
In the last five overs, New Zealand have added 11 crucial runs. However, the innings run rate is under two. Suddenly, the match has become a pale, shady inverse reflection of yesterday's free flowing scoring game.
The only shot worthy of taking notice in these five overs are from Ross Taylor, off a Shami leg-side half-volley, which he dispatched to the boundary.
Over 15 || Score 27/5
Now, the Kiwis are groping for answer. The Indian bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Zaheer Khan are controlling the proceedings. And Indian skipper has supported them by positioning slip fielders closer than expected.
Bradley Watling, who arrived after the departure of Corey Anderson, is having a nightmarish outing in the centre. The Kiwi wicket-keeper has survived two edges from Zaheer and Shami.
Indians are certainly giving a fight to the Kiwis, who are leading by 328 runs.
Over 12.2|| Score 25/5
New Zealand are five down
Beauty of a delivery from Mohammed Shami. Pierced through the defence of Corey Anderson. What a sight for a young Indian fast-bowler to hit the stumps.
Now, the predicament for the Kiwis is whether to go for some quick runs or to hang on there, kill the time and bat out the Indians. Because, unlike their pathetic first innings display, Indians would surely produce a better second innings.
Corey Anderson b Mohammed Shami 2 (19b)
Over 10 || Score 18/4
With both the centurions from the first innings already returned to the pavilion, New Zealand sought to build a decent partnership to increase the innings lead over India.
In the centre, Ross Taylor, who could managed only three runs in his first outing here at Eden Park is with Corey Anderson, another flamboyant batsman, known for his destructive knocks.
Having already gained a lead of over 300 runs, these two will resort to plundering, sooner or later. So, the Indians can't afford to relax. It's always going to be a chasing game for them, after that massive first innings deficit.
In a 46-ball madness, after the innings break, New Zealand have put themselves in a spot of bother. Even though they have a sizable lead of 316 runs with six wickets in hand, the momentum could well swing India's way.
Great fight back from the Indians, especially Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. Jadeja, the fielder was everywhere, involving in three of the four wickets so far in this innings. And considering his batting in the first innings, well, we could say he is one confident player.
For Shami, it's a golden opportunity for him to compensate his rather quite spell in New Zealand's first innings.
Over 7.4 || Score 15/4
Funny game, isn't it.
Now, the Kiwis are stuttering.
Brendon McCullum, who was in sublime form in the first innings, got himself run-out. What on earth made him think of stealing runs, running.
Once again, Ravindra Jadeja involved. His quick throw from midwicket was collected well before disturbing the stumps at the non-striker's end.
Poor from the Kiwi skipper, who first chose to bat again despite having the luxury of asking Indians to bat again, then got himself out.
Brendon McCullum run out 1 (2b)
Over 5.5 || Score 11/3
Well, well, well!
The prodigious, or rather adventurous Kane Williamson out-foxed by the experienced Zaheer Khan. Wanted to heave the ball away, but it never arrived... ended scooping the ball at short mid-wicket for Ravindra Jadeja to take a diving catch.
This is the first time, Williamson has failed to cross 50-run marked in this India's tour of New Zealand.
Kane Williamson c Ravindra Jadeja b Zaheer Khan 3 (17b)
Over 3|| Score 9/2
Shami, inspiration thy name!
The 23-year-old Bengal player has got his second wicket in two overs. Mohammed Shami's last ball of the over could have ended with a boundary, instead it produced a wicket to keep India alive in the match.
Peter Fulton failed to connect well, as he would have liked, and the half-volley was lofted to the waiting hands of Ravindra Jadeja at short cover.
Peter Fulton c Ravindra Jadeja b Mohammed Shami 5 (11b)
Over 1 || Score 1/1
Well, it seems there will be a twist in the narrative.
A beautiful Mohammed Shami pitched-up delivery caught Hamish Rutherford plumb. First ball duck. The Kiwi opener's grand total in this match is six.
Too early to say, but with some quick wickets, Indians can make a fight out it this match.
Hamish Rutherford lbw b Mohammed Shami 0 (1b)
India 1st innings
Over 60|| Score 202
India ALL OUT in 60 Overs
Don't think there will be a point of return for the Indians here.
Despite a 301-run first innings lead, Brendon McCullum has opted not to impose the follow-on. That's strange, considering the way Indians have batted, the match could have ended on Day-3 itself. Still 76 overs left to play.
Wondering how big a target the Kiwis want to set for the Indians with more than tow days left in the match.
Ishant Sharma c Trent Boult b Tim Southee 0 (3b)
Mohammed Shami c Peter Fulton b Neil Wagner 2 (3b)
Poor Ravindra Jadeja, he was left stranded with an unbeaten 30.
Over 57.4 || Score 188/8
Zaheer Khan's short little entertaining stay in the centre is over, as Wagner got his second for the day.
The Indian innings, as expected, is closing on to a quick wind-up at Eden Park. Following that distraught top-order collapsed, there was no way for the lower order batsmen to salvaged the situation.
Zaheer Khan c Bradley Watling b Neil Wagner 14 (16b)
Over 53.4|| Score 167/7
Indian skipper's torturous stay is finally over.
Neil Wagner took his second of the match, in the form of Dhoni's wicket. Indian skipper's poor form continues as he, once again, failed when the team is in dire need of a master-stroke.
It was a beautiful delivery from the Kiwi bowler. Dhoni was forced to play the moving ball, which took an edge for wicket-keeper, Neil Wagner to complete the catch behind the stumps.
MS Dhoni c BradleyWatling b Neil Wagner 10 (28b)
Over 50 || Score 151/6
The last recognise batting pair – MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, are trying to brave the storm here.
New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum is happy with his too strike bowlers – Trent Boult and Tim Southee, operating in tandem. They have combined to rock this Indian batting line-up.
India still required 150 more runs to avoid follow-on.
Over 45.1|| Score 138/6
Another wicket, this time Rohit
After that Southee wicket-maiden, Boult castled Rohit Sharma's stumps.
In the space of six overs, Indians have lost two wickets. Both the overnight batsmen are gone, leaving skipper Dhoni with the tail.
Rohit, who helped India stop the slump yesterday with his purposeful batting, chose a bad shot and got himself played-on.
Rohit Sharma b Trent Boult 72 (120b)
Over 44.1 || Score 138/5
So, the day's first big news is Ajinkya Rahane is out. Tim Southee, who along with Trent Boult tormented Indians with their pace bowling yesterday, has got his second of the match.
Rahane – all for his known Test acumen, followed a wide delivery, pushing for whatever reason which he only knew and offered a regulation slip catch. Taken safely by Taylor.
Ajinkya Rahane c Ross Taylor b Tim Southee 26 (70b)
Auckland: Inadequacies, it has been all along for Team India this tour Down Under. But the more pressing concern, as the proceedings of the 1st Test so far has highlighted, is finding bowlers capable of dictating terms, bowlers with fear factors.
Anyway, the second day witnessed some brilliant batting performances from the Kiwis, specially by the skipper himself – who compiled a double-hundred. After posting 500+ runs, the hosts bowlers – as confident as ever, quickly reduced the visitors to mere travelers.
Here, it`s worth noting how the pitch started behaving differently once the Indians started batting. Demons all around! The ease with which Kiwi tail-enders scored runs and the trouble with which Indian top-orders approached the game, the difference was stark and it precisely sums-up the story.
But amidst the ruins, there were some takeaways for the Indians. Having lost three wickets for nothing, Rohit Sharma – of that talent house, occupied the crease as if it was his sole purpose in life, and with him, Murali Vijay showed the gumption that makes Test cricket still worth watching. Ishant Sharma, with his six-wicket haul, can look forward to more of such returns if he continues to run-in hard with a single-minded approach, that of taking wickets.
When the Day 3 resumes, India – still 174 runs short of the follow-on mark, will look forward to both Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane to survive at least for two sessions. A wicket or two will surely spell doom for the visitors.