Match report: Ind v NZ – 2nd Test, Day 2
Bengaluru, Sep 1: The second Test between India and New Zealand was interestingly poised after the hosts finished Day 2 at 283 for five in their first innings. Having bowled out the visitors for 365 in the morning, India stumbled to 80 for four before a middle-order fightback, with Virat Kohli (93*) at the helm, brought the hosts back into the game.
Earlier, the New Zealand lower order didn’t hold out for too long after an early start to the day’s play to make up for the time lost on Day 1 due to bad light. Kruger van Wyk (71) edged a delivery from Zaheer Khan to Suresh Raina at second slip in the fifth over of the day, while Doug Bracewell (43) was run out exactly 12 deliveries later for backing up too far at the non-striker’s end. Jeetan Patel was caught at third man off Umesh Yadav without opening his account as the Kiwis slid to 353 for nine. Pragyan Ojha then brought about an end to the Kiwi innings, and grabbed his third five-wicket haul in Tests, when he had Tim Southee (14) trapped lbw in the 91st over. The Kiwi first innings finished at 365 within the first half hour of the morning session.
The hosts’ first innings didn’t begin on a convincing note. Virender Sehwag survived a loud appeal for lbw off Tim Southee’s first delivery and Gautam Gambhir was dropped by Brendon McCullum at third slip off Trent Boult in the third over. NZ, nevertheless, managed a breakthrough when Gambhir (2) left a delivery from Southee that ended up clipping the top of offstump. Cheteshwar Pujara (9) went a few overs later when he tried to, uncharacteristically, attempt a hook shot off Southee only for Trent Boult to complete a good catch running to his left at fine-leg.
Virender Sehwag, as is his style, edged a few deliveries through gully, but also spanked a few through the covers to get India to 63 for two in 21.0 overs. However, the Indian opener fell soon after lunch when he flicked a Doug Bracewell delivery straight to Daniel Flynn at square shortish midwicket. Sehwag made 43. Sachin Tendulkar, who scored just four runs of his first 41 deliveries, hit Bracewell for a sparkling straight drive before he was bowled through the gates by the Kiwi pacer. At the fall of Tendulkar’s (17) wicket, the visitors were very much on top with India were wobbling at 80 for four.
Suresh Raina, who came in after Virat Kohli, at the fall of Tendulkar’s wicket, then set about counterattacking. The left-hander unleashed a flurry of boundaries, driving, dabbing and pulling the Kiwi bowlers to all corners of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Raina’s best shot, though, was when he comfortably lofted offspinner Jeetan Patel just by getting his bat to the pitch of the ball and timing it to perfection. Raina reached his half-century off 79 balls, although he survived a stumping opportunity on 48 when television replays showed Patel having bowled a no-ball.
India went into tea at 168 for four with Raina and a solid Kohli holding fort. Raina (55) fell shortly after tea when he nicked a delivery from Tim Southee down the leg side through to wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk. But Kohli and MS Dhoni didn’t allow any further inroads to the visitors. Dhoni quickly declared his intentions by lofting Patel into the stands for consecutive sixes, while Kohli brought up his second consecutive half-century of the series with a nudge off Southee down to fine-leg. With the Kiwi bowlers repeatedly bowling on Kohli’s pads, the Indian No.5 worked his way to an unbeaten 93 by clipping the ball regularly to the leg-side fence. Dhoni, meanwhile, remained unbeaten on 46 as India finished the day at 283 for five, 82 runs shy of New Zealand’s first innings score.
At end of Day 2: New Zealand 1st innings 365/10 in 90.1 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 71, Pragyan Ojha 5/99); India 1st innings 283/5 in 78.0 overs (Virat Kohli 93*, Suresh Raina 55, Tim Southee 3/35)
At end of Day 1: New Zealand 1st innings 328/6 in 81.3 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 63*, Martin Guptill 53, Pragyan Ojha 4/90)