Match report: Ind v NZ – 1st Test, Day 3
Hyderabad, Aug 25: India are within sniffing distance of victory in the first Test against New Zealand being played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. After bowling the visitors out for 159 in their first innings, the hosts had reduced the Kiwis to 41 for one in their second innings, before rain forced an abrupt end to the day’s play.
Earlier, inclement weather led to play beginning an hour after schedule on Day 3. While the weather improved for the game to begin at half past ten, New Zealand’s fortunes continued to plummet after the start of play.
Umesh Yadav, bowling the second over of the day, had Kruger van Wyk (0) trapped lbw when the Kiwis had added just five runs to their overnight score of 106. Doug Bracewell (17) hit a boundary each off Yadav and Zaheer Khan, but was out stumped when he tried to hit Pragyan Ojha out of the park. The Kiwis were 141 for seven at the fall of Bracewell’s wicket.
James Franklin battled on bravely, holding up one end and denying the Indian bowlers his wicket. But with MS Dhoni finally introducing R Ashwin in the 58th over, the NZ tail hardly wagged. Ashwin had Jeetan Patel (10) out caught and bowled in a decision that was referred to the third umpire. Four overs later, the off-spinner accounted for Trent Boult (4) and Christ Martin off consecutive deliveries to finish with career-best figures of six for 31. Thanks to Ashwin’s efforts, the Kiwis were bowled out for 159 – 279 runs behind India’s first innings total.
With the weather regularly playing spoilsport, Dhoni had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on. The New Zealand openers walked out to begin their second innings immediately after lunch. Dhoni employed Pragyan Ojha and Zaheer Khan, who was bowling from round the wicket, to begin proceedings. But Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum denied the two bowlers for about an hour.
Guptill, having hit Ojha for back-to-back boundaries in the 13th over, survived a dropped catch when Virat Kohli put down a sharp chance at second slip. However, Ojha finally accounted for Guptill (16) in his next over, when the Kiwi batsman offered no shot to a delivery that seemed to go on to hit the off stump. Guptill was adjudged lbw and the visitors were at 26 for one at the fall of his wicket.
McCullum (16*) and Kane Williamson (3*) negotiated another three overs before the umpires decided to call off play owing to the overcast sky and the imminent possibility of rain. With the rain pouring down in Uppal, play was finally called off at 2:55 pm. New Zealand were 41 for one at stumps, still 238 runs shy of avoiding an innings defeat.
At end of Day 3: India 1st innings 438/10 in 134.3 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 159, MS Dhoni 73, Jeetan Patel 4/100); New Zealand 1st innings 159/10 in 61.3 overs (James Franklin 43*, R Ashwin 6/31) and New Zealand 2nd innings 41/1 in 18.0 overs (Brendon McCullum 16*, Pragyan Ojha 1/13)
At end of Day 2: India 1st innings 438/10 in 134.3 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 159, MS Dhoni 73, Jeetan Patel 4/100); New Zealand 1st innings 106/5 in 42.0 overs (Kane Williamson 32, James Franklin 31*, R Ashwin 3/30)
At end of Day 1: India 1st innings 307/5 in 87.0 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 119*, Virat Kohli 58, Trent Boult 2/63)