India go up one-nil

India have taken an one-nil lead in the two-match series with a comfortable innings victory over the touring BLACKCAPS in Hyderabad.

It was once again Ashwin who did the damage with the wily spinner taking six for 54 to dismiss New Zealand 115 runs short of India’s total.

Batting first, India struck 438 after winning the toss and electing to bat the bowled over the New Zealand for 159 and 164
The start of the day’s play was delayed by rain with Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson coming to the middle two hours after the scheduled start time. The pair safely negotiated the morning session, taking the team from their overnight score of 41 for one to 92 for one.

The situation took a sharp turn shortly after lunch when McCullum was adjudged to be trapped in front for 42 off the bowling of Yadav then three overs Ross Taylor was bowled by Ashwin for seven to leave the visitors teetering on 105 for three.

Kane Williamson made a hard fought 52 before he was caught at first slip off the bowling of Ashwin with the Indian spinner then trapping Daniel Flynn LBW for 11.

James Franklin (5) was unable to replicate his first innings effort, caught at first slip of an incredible turning delivery by Ashwin and Kruger van Wyk (13) fell LBW to the same bowler while Doug Bracewell (1) was caught in close off the bowling of Ojha.

There weren’t any tail-end heroics as Trent Boult and Chris Martin fell in the space of four deliveries without scoring.

The two team head to  M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru for the second match starting 31 August 2012.

Day 3: Rain shortens day three, NZ follow on

The BLACKCAPS could not avoid the follow-on with the five remaining wickets falling for 53 runs in the first session of day three in the Test match against India in Hyderabad.

Starting the day on 106 for five the remaining New Zealand batsman scratched their way to 159 on the stroke of lunch leaving India with an overall lead of 279. 

The hosts had no hesitation in asking the visiting openers to return to the crease.  Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum cautiously played out the first 14 overs of the second innings before Guptill was triggered LBW on 16.

McCullum and new batsman Kane Williamson safely saw the team to 41 for one before the heavens opened and torrential rain drenched the ground.

Play was stopped at 1.50pm with the umpires given no choice but to call an end to the day’s play at 2.55pm.

Earlier, the BLACKCAPS got off to the worst possible start with Kruger van Wyk adjudged LBW off the tenth ball of the morning and the dismissal was a sign of things to come.

Doug Bracewell contributed 17 before being stumped and Jeetan Patel was caught and bowled for 10, all while James Franklin continued to hold the fort at the other end.

The last two wickets went quickly with Trent Boult caught in close after adding four and Chris Martin had his stumps rearranged off the first ball he faced.

James Franklin, who looked in good touch, was left stranded on 43.

Ashwin was the chief destroyer, picking up career best figures of six for 31 while fellow spinner Ojha took three for 44.

Day 2: India holds the advantage on day two

India have removed the top five New Zealand batsmen to leave the visitors in a precarious position at the end of day two of the first Test at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. 

The BLACKCAPS managed to dismiss India just before tea for 438, but a horror 42 overs left them trailing the hosts by 332 runs with only five wickets in hand at stumps. 

Brendon McCullum showed early intent, hitting the first delivery of the innings to the fence but was undone on 22 when he tried to clear the infield only to be held at cover.  His opening partner, Martin Guptill, was caught in close down the leg-side less than three overs later for two.

The problems were compounded when Ross Taylor (2) tried to turn Ravichandran Ashwin around the corner with the ball popping up tot backward short-leg for and Daniel Flynn (16) was given out LBW by the same bowler to leave the visitors reeling at 55 for four.

Another blow came two and half overs before the close of play when Williamson edged one at first slip for 32 to hand Ashwin wicket number three.

James Franklin toughed out a useful 31 off 97 deliveries and will resume tomorrow alongside Kruger van Wyk with the scoreboard reading 106 for five.

Earlier, India started the day on 307 for five, with Cheteshwar Pujara and MS Dhoni making a careful start.  The pair safely saw their team through to 371 for five at lunch in a first session that was shortened due to the treat of rain.

The post-lunch period had the bowlers show signs of a BLACKCAPS revival, taking the last five wickets for 51 runs with three of those going to spinner Jeetan Patel.

Century maker, Pujara, was the first to fall as he tried to up the scoring rate only to mis-cue a Patel delivery to mid-on.  The wicket ended a 127 run stand for the sixth wicket and brought to a close a brilliant innings of 159.

MS Dhoni  struck 73 before he went five overs later in a similar fashion with the Indian captain trying to heave Patel out of the ground but only managed to find mid-off.

A tidy catch by Kruger van Wyk helped hand Trent Boult the wicket of Zaheer Khan as India slumped to 414 for eight.

Ashwin frustrated the bowlers with a rear-guard 37 before Patel had him stumped while the final wicket came via a run-out.

Patel was rewarded with impressive figures of four for 100 while Boult turned in three for 93.

Day 1: BLACKCAPS still in the game after tough day

Cheteshwar Pujara hit an unbeaten 119 to lead India to 307 for five on day one of the series opening Test match against the BLACKCAPS in Hyderabad.

In hot conditions offering conventional swing, Trent Boult had Guatam Gambhir caught behind for 22 while Doug Bracewell removed the aggressive Virender Sehwag, caught at second slip, for a 47.

A healthy sized crowd roared Sachin Tendulkar onto the field with the master batsman helping guide India to 92 for two at lunch. However, his innings was cut short by Boult who ripped through his defences in the 35th over to see him on his way for 19 and reduce the home side to 125 for three.

Boult described the wicket of histories leading run scorer as a ‘huge highlight’.

“To get out one of the best players in the world is something very special,” said Boult. “It why I play, and a lot of people play, to get the big names out”

Tendulkar was the only wicket to fall in the middle session as Pujara and Virat Kohli took the score through to 182 for three at tea.

New Zealand fought back in the final session, with Chris Martin nicking out Kohli for 58 and Jeetan Patel having Suresh Raina caught behind for just three. 

The New Zealanders were left ruing a couple of half chances – Ross Taylor narrowly missing an opportunity at first slip to remove Kohli for 46 while Daniel Flynn was unable to grab a sharp chance at short-leg when Pujara was on 60.

It was India’s day but the BLACKCAPS know they are not out of the contest with focus already firmly on the crucial first session of day two.

“To have them around three hundred for five leaves the game in the balance,” said Boult. “They batted well with a very attacking brand of cricket.”

“We’re looking forward to tomorrow.  I think the first hour will be a big opportunity to go out there and hopefully get a couple of wickets and have a crack at the tail."

Boult was the pick of the attack taking two for 63 while Chris Martin, Jeetan Patel and Doug Bracewell chipped in with one apiece.

MS Dhoni (29) and Pujara (119) will resume tomorrow. 

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