India vs New Zealand: 1st Test, Day 4 - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam/Chaitan Papnai
India lost the first Test by 40 runs to New Zealand, in yet another interesting day of Test cricket. Though, Shikhar Dhawan scored a ton on the fourth Day, it went in vain as the India didn't stop the hosts from taking a lead of 1-0 in the two match series. N Wagner was certainly the pick among the bowlers as he scalped four wickets in the second innings. NZ skipper was rewarded Man of the Match award for his outstanding double ton that he scored in the first innings of the match.
India 2nd innings
Over 96.3 || Score 366
India lost their last two wickets – Dhoni and Ishant -- within a few balls and with that, it's all over for India. The home side won the first Test of the series by 40 runs.
I Sharma c Watling b Boult 4 (15m 4b)
MS Dhoni b Wagner 39 (81m 41b)
Over 95 || Score 358/8
NZ is now just two wickets away from a win as India lost another wicket in the form of Zaheer Khan. Wagner is the bowler at the occasion. The home side has an upper hand now as India still needed 49 to win the match.
Z Khan c Watling b Wagner 17 (32b)
Over 93 || Score 346/7
Zaheer is playing sensible cricket along with Dhoni. He has reached to 16, with the help of a boundary and a six. NZ bowlers too are doing the right thing by attacking Zaheer. The home side is just three wickets away from winning the first Test of the series, whereas India needed 60 runs to seal the match. MSD is unbeaten on 28. It can still be anyone's game.
Over 88 || Score 329/7
Jadeja Out. Oh dear, a big blow for India. Jadeja who was playing effortless cricket, stepped out off Boult to scoring yet another boundary but didn't connect it well and gave a simple catch to Ish Sodhi at long on. Now the onus is on Dhoni to play a captain's knock and take his team through. Zaheer is the next batsman who joined Dhoni in the middle after the fall of seventh Indian wicket. India still needed 78 more runs to win the match.
RA Jadeja c Sodhi b Boult 26 (21b)
Over 86 || Score 315/6
Dhoni and Jadeja have started scoring runs at a brisk pace, as they are scoring boundaries at will. Since Jadeja has come to the middle to join his skipper, they are playing as if they are batting in an ODI match. Meanwhile, India have also crossed the 300-run mark and now they needed 92 runs to seal the first Test match.
Over 82 || Score 274/6
First ball after Tea and India lost another batsman in the form of Rohit Sharma. A beauty by Southee which kissed the bat of Rohit and went straight to the wicketkeeper. India is at the back-foot now. This session is quite crucial for India. Ravindra Jadeja is the next man in.
RG Sharma c Watling b Southee 19 (59b)
With that howler of a decision and many more questions on BCCI's decision not to adopt DRS, it's Tea at Eden Park.
Over 81 || Score 270/5
Now, it's anybody's game. India require another 136 runs, while New Zealand have lesser known batsmen to manage, barring Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, and off course, Ravindra Jadeja.
Over 80.1 || Score 268/5
With 44 more overs left today, New Zeland have taken the new ball.
And the very first ball from Trent Boult has sent back Ajinkya Rahane back.
A poor decision from the umpire, Steve Davis. An over-balanced Rahane was adjusted LBW. With the ball swinging big time, it hit the bat first before crashing in to the pads.
It could well prove to be a match-changing decision.
Ajinkya Rahane lbw Trent Boult 18 (21)
Do Indians need DRS?
Over 74.1 || Score 248/4
A screamer from the left-hander left centurion, Shikhar Dhawan groping for answers. Have had tried to avoid the rising delivery, but nicked the ball. Watling completed the catch, behind the stumps.
Has been a great spell from Neil Wagner, getting rid of both Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. Master-stroke from the Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum to bring the pacer.
Shikhar Dhawan c Bradley Watling b Neil Wagner 115 (211)
India require 159 more runs.
Over 70 || Score 234/3
Runs have dried up since Kohli's departure. Rohit Sharma settling in and Shikhar Dhawan looking to rebuild to innings, it has been a quite period in Auckland.
New ball is due in 10 overs. Probably, that's what the Kiwis are waiting for with this old ball still giving a hint of movement.
For New Zealand, a wicket here may prove decisive.
Over 68|| Score 230/3
India still require 177 more runs.
Over 65 || Score 228/3
After Virat Kohli's departure, arrived Rohit Sharma.
And with that wicket, Kiwis have started being aggressive, especially the left-arm bowler, Wagner.
Still 15 overs more for New Zealand.
However, Dhawan is all in his class. Keeping his cool, practicing defensive strokes, talking to newly arrived Rohit.
Over 60.3 || Score 222/3
Virat Kohli gone. Chasing a short, wide ball from Wagner, Kohli's flashing shot ended up offering a low catch to the Kiwi wicket-keeper.
That was a good change of bowling from the Kiwi skipper to break the partnership. Having removed the set batsman, New Zealand have suddenly found energy and purpose.
India require 184 more runs for a historic win at Eden Park.
Virat Kohli c Bradley Watling b Neil Wagner 67 (102)
Over 60 || Score 218/2
Partnership is growing. 122 runs from 184 balls in 131 productive mins.
Shikhar 107 runs from 171 balls.
Kohli 63 runs from 99 balls.
The opener upped the ante hitting a six, probably thinking he was on 94. But Virat helped him realised that's not the case.
But the very next ball from young Sodhi was dispatched towards midwicket, and the hundred.
Over 54 || Score 180/2
India, riding on a 84-run partnership between two Delhi batsmen, have reached 180 runs at a run-rate of 3.3. Still requiring another 227 runs, the visitors are in a prime position to record the third highest successful chase in the history.
From New Zealand's point of view, it has been a bad morning with the sun drying out the pitch. With a predominant pace-attack, Brendon McCullum has now limited options to fall back. Except that Southee beauty which removed Pujara, New Zealand bowlers struggled whole morning.
Dhawan requires another 19 more runs for his second Test hundred. And Virat Kohli is in fine touch with 55 from 82 balls.
Virat Kohli 50
That's ninth half-century for Kohli. He took 80 balls to reach the milestone. After a nervous start to the innings, the Delhi batsman has so far produced an exhilarating array of strokes.
Over 50 || Score 158/2
Kohli is not shying away from punishing the bad balls. In fact, he has hit three boundaries including two successive fours in the 48th over from the India-born Ish Sodhi.
In the same over, with a double, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli reached their fifty partnership. The duo also helped the Indian run rate improved, now over three an over.
Over 45 || Score 136/2
India require 271 more run to win match.
New Zealand have so far utilised six bowlers. Besides the wicket-taker Southee, Boult, Wagner, Anderson, Sodhi and Williamson have all have their share of spells without success.
For India, the partnership between Dhawan and Kohli has crossed 35 with the right-hander playing a dominant role. A considerably patient Dhawan's role will be important if the tourists were to conquer the Kiwis.
Over 40 || Score 124/2
Dhawan survived. In the last ball of 39th over of the innings – from Trent Boult, Dhawan was dropped at gully.
In the previous over, Kohli hit two consecutive fours off Wagner, and quickly reached 17. Comparatively.
Now the target in under 300 for India.
India's highest fourth innings successful chase is that of 406 against West Indies in in 1976. In the context of this contest, it is still possible for MS Dhoni's men to break that record.
Over 35 || Score 106/2
In the 10 overs' play today, Indian have scored 19 runs at the expense of that Pujara wicket. Indeed, a cautious start from the Indians.
Shikhar Dhawan, carrying on from where he left yesterday, has so far scored 61 runs from 100 odd balls with the help of four boundaries. His partner, Virat Kohli is also looking comfortable facing the pace attack from the Kiwis.
If these two can see out the first session at least, Indians would reckon a genuine chance here in Auckland.
Over 29.2 || Score 96/2
Cheteshwar Pujara is gone
Tim Southee returned to haunt India again. The Indian middle-order batsman failed to negotiate the angled-short ball. Ended up offering a comfortable catch to wicket-keeper, Bradley Watling.
Pujara only managed to add one more run to his overnight score and this is the worse possible start for the Indians to the chase.
Cheteshwar Pujara c Bradley Watling b Tim Southee 23 (71b)
With his departure, arrived Virat Kohli in the center to give company to Shikhar Dhawan. The opener, unlike his previous innings, is batting beautifully having crossed 50.
Auckland: Record beckons for Team India.
After two days of asphyxiation at Eden Park, India finally breathed life on the Day 3 of the first Test against New Zealand. Thanks to an inspired performance from the bowling unit, the tourists can now hope to think about winning, and also setting some records.
On Day 4, MS Dhoni`s men will look to score another 320 runs for a win, with nine wickets in hand. If Team India manages to achieve this feat, it will be a record – their highest chase in the fourth innings of a Test match.
Despite the criticisms they have endured for the better part of the tour so far, such a record-breaking win will allow the team to settle and focus on the task at hand, that is to win matches.
In these three days, both the teams have seen the best and worst aspects of their respective sides.
If New Zealand survived their horrendous start to post a seemingly daunting 500+ score in the 1st innings, they have also revealed fragility in their batting line-up in the subsequent essay. Courtesy that blip, now they find themselves in a precarious situation – whether to push for the win or play safe for a draw from a position of dominance.
It will not be wise to assume that Indian batting will fail two successive outings. This very concern forced the Kiwis to bat again.
Like the Kiwis, Indians have failed to capitalise on their superb start to the match, when they reduced the hosts to 30 for 3. Their woes were compounded when, replying to a big first innings score, the famed-batting line-up collapsed without a clue. But their bowlers have given them another opportunity to have a final swing at the target.
With two days remaining, Indians should focus on occupying the crease as long as possible. Scoring 320 runs from 180 overs will not be an issue. But everybody`s question will be – Will Indians survive the Kiwi pace attack for two days?