Match report: Ind v NZ – 2nd Test, Day 3
Bengaluru, Sep 2: The second Test between India and New Zealand is poised for an interesting finish. After Tim Southee’s seven-wicket haul saw the hosts fold for 353 in the morning, R Ashwin’s five for 69, kept the visitors down to 232 for the loss of nine wickets in their second innings.
Earlier, Virat Kohli brought up his first Test century in India. Batting overnight on an unbeaten 93, Kohli flicked a Trent Boult delivery on his pads, in the third over of the day, to the square-leg boundary to bring up his individual three-figure mark. Kohli could not get to a bigger score as he was wrapped on the pads by a Tim Southee delivery to which the batsman offered no shot shortly afterwards. The ball cut in after pitching and Kohli was adjudged lbw; he made 103.
MS Dhoni (62), who brought up his 26th Test half-century shortly before Kohli’s dismissal, struck a couple of boundaries off Doug Bracewell, but fell leg-before to Southee with the Indian score at 312. Southee went on to post the best figures by a New Zealand bowler in India when he picked up the scalps of Zaheer Khan (7) and Pragyan Ojha (0) to finish with 24-6-64-7. The Indians still managed to get to 353, despite Southee’s incisive bowling, because of R Ashwin’s unbeaten 40-ball 32.
New Zealand began their second innings on a positive note. Brendon McCullum hit a quick 15-ball 21 to take the visitors to 29 for no loss at lunch. However, Umesh Yadav, removed both Martin Guptill (7) and McCullum (23) in successive overs after lunch to bring the hosts back into the contest. Kane Williamson (13) was the third wicket to fall when he edged an R Ashwin delivery to Virender Sehwag at first slip with the Kiwi second innings score at 69.
Ross Taylor (35), the first innings centurion, looked good in his 66-ball stay at the wicket. But when Pragyan Ojha trapped him lbw in a dismissal that had a lot in common with Taylor’s first innings departure, the hosts must have fancied their chances of bowling the visitors out under 200. However, some determined batting from Daniel Flynn (31 off 65 balls), James Franklin (41 off 90 balls) and Kruger van Wyk (31 off 48 balls) helped the visitors’ cause.
R Ashwin, however, kept the hosts right in the game by chipping away with wickets at regular intervals. Having bagged the wickets of Flynn, Franklin and Wyk post tea, Ashwin landed his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests when he bowled Tim Southee (2) shortly before stumps. Pragyan Ojha, then, added to his wicket tally for the series when he sneaked in a delivery that trapped Doug Bracewell (22) lbw.
The visitors finished the day at 232 for nine, having stretched their overall lead against the hosts to 244 runs. Jeetan Patel (10*) and Trent Boult (0*) were in the middle for the visitors when stumps were called.
At end of Day 3: New Zealand 1st innings 365/10 in 90.1 overs (Ross Taylor 113, Kruger van Wyk 71, Pragyan Ojha 5/99) and New Zealand 2nd innings 232/9 in 69.0 overs (James Franklin 41, R Ashwin 5/69); India 1st innings 353/10 in 96.5 overs (Virat Kohli 103, MS Dhoni 62, Tim Southee 7/64)
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)