Persistent New Zealand reduce India to 239-7
KOLKATA, India (AP) — India were reduced to 239-7 in 86 overs on day one of the second test against New Zealand in Kolkata.
Wriddhiman Saha, on 14 and Ravindra Jadeja were at the crease when play was called off due to bad light with four overs remaining in the day’s play.
Cheteshwar Pujara (89) and Ajinkya Rahane (77) added 141 runs for the fourth wicket, but the hosts suffered in the final session. They lost 4-103, as Matt Henry (3-35) and Jeetan Patel (2-66) shared five wickets.
“My partnership with Pujara was very good. But it was vital that one of us got a big hundred and took the innings forward. I am disappointed we couldn’t do that. Ideally we would have liked to close at four or five down,” said Rahane.
India had been reduced to 57-3 in the morning session. Loose shots from Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Virat Kohli (9) didn’t help, even as Henry and Trent Boult (1-33) made good use of the new ball on a greenish pitch.
Pujara struck his 10th test fifty, while Rahane scored his ninth test half century, as they batted resolutely after lunch. Neil Wagner (1-37) broke their partnership after tea. Patel then accounted for Rahane and Rohit Sharma (2), dismissed cheaply again in a pressure situation.
“It is not a typical Kolkata wicket. There is some variable bounce,” Rahane said. “They bowled well in humid conditions, and we played some bad shots. 320-325 should be a good first innings’ total here.”
New Zealand was led ably by veteran Ross Taylor in the absence of sick Kane Williamson. Their three-strong pace attack took pressure off their spinners, and their persevering line paid off towards the end of the day.
While the Black Caps took the second new ball immediately it became available, only six overs were bowled with it owing to cloudy skies and bad light. The visitors will be looking to make use of it again and polish the tail off quickly on day two.
“That first hour tomorrow is crucial. We just have to keep applying our work and still be patient and do our jobs. It is going to be an important session for how the game unfolds,” said Henry.