NZ lose despite bold display

New Zealand produced a valiant effort but fall short of victory on day four of the Test match against India at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

India were under pressure for large parts of the day having slipped from 152-2 to 166-5 before reaching their target of 261in the final session.  A match winning to a 96-run stand between Virat Kohli and skipper MS Singh Dhoni secured the win despite the BLACKCAPS bowling attack fighting hard to level the series.

It wasn’t just today, the visitors held the advantage for large parts of the game including a 12 run lead in the first innings after making 365 and then bowling out India for 353.

The match will be remembered as an absorbing match that chopped and changed at regular intervals.  It contained memorable first innings centuries by Ross Taylor (113) and Kohli (103) and the tremendous seven for 64 by Tim Southee.

Day four started brightly for New Zealand as they looked to build on their lead with Jeetan Patel hitting a number of boundaries before he was adjudged caught behind for 22.  Replays proved that the ball missed the edge but the decision brought an end to the New Zealand innings on 248, an overall lead of 260.

India replied strongly.  The seam attack searched hard for a wicket early on but their efforts were largely unrewarded with the Indian openers putting on 77.

It was the spin of Patel that broke the partnership, turning one past the bat of Virender Sehway and onto the stumps after he pounded a breezy 38 off 33 deliveries.

Five overs later Trent Boult enticed Gautam Gambhir to have nibble outside off-stump with a swinging delivery catching the edge and landing in the hands of Ross Taylor, reducing India to 83 for two.

Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara guided India past lunch and through to tea with rain reducing the middle session to 12.5 overs. 

Then after the break the inning bowling star, Southee, started a mini-collapse by pegging back Tendulkar’s middle wicket after making 27 with the score on 152 for three. It is the third time the world’s leading run scoring has been bowled out in this series with Boult doing the job in Hyderabad and Doug Bracewell the destroyer in first innings of this match.

A double break-through by Patel reduced  India team to 166 for five.  His first victim was Pujara who made 48 before he edged a ball that brilliantly grasped by Daniel Flynn who was fielding in close.

Suresh Raina, who was yet to score, decided to charge the New Zealand off-spinner only to have the ball crash into the stumps.

The Indian captain along with Kohli countered expertly with, taking their country from a precarious position to series clean sweep. Kohli ended unbeaten on 51 to go with his first inning 103 while Dhoni slapped a six and four to end the day on 48. 

Day 3: Southee bags seven | NZ lead by 244

A thunderous spell of fast bowling by Tim Southee has helped lift New Zealand to a decent position at the end of day three of the Test match against India at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

India were rounded up for 353 today in reply to New Zealand’s 365, before the visiting team pushed through to 232 for nine at close for a lead of 244.

Southee , who started the day with three wickets, removed four Indian batsmen in the space of 15 balls in one of the most devastating spells in New Zealand cricket history, ending the innings with career best figures of seven for 64.

He began by removing Virat Kohli who had just raised his bat for 103.  The free-flowing middle order shouldered arms to ball destined for the stumps with the umpire having no choice but make the LBW decision.

The important scalp of MS Dhoni came seven deliveries later with a 144km bolter that hit the pad before striking the edge.  Another LBW awarded with India reduced to 312 for eight.

Southee’s next over was a stunning display of fast bowling with bounce and then swing seeing the back of Khan (7) and Ojha (0) respectively, both caught behind.

An irritating 33 run partnership for the last wicket kept the BLACKCAPS out in the middle longer than they would like before Trent Boult finally bowling out Yadav for four while Ashwin way unbeaten on 32.  It was just reward for Boult who hurled down a number of unplayable deliveries without luck.
 
The New Zealand batsmen responded again with intent and although they were able to maintain a healthy run-rate of over 3.30 the side lacked a significant contribution with the scoreboard showing most batsmen not kicking on after getting starts.

New ball bowler Umesh Yadav  had both openers were back in the pavilion after 7.1 overs with Martin Guptill bowled for seven and Brendon McCullum caught behind for 23.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor looked untroubled, taking the score to 69.  The introduction of R Ashwin did the trick for India with the spinner finding Williamson’s outside edge and he was caught at first slip for 13.

Then, with the score on 111, Ojha had Taylor out LBW for 35 leaving Daniel Flynn and James Franklin to see the side through to tea at 123 for four.

Shortly after the break Flynn nicked off to first slip for 31 while Franklin and Kruger van Wyk combined for a 55 run partnership for the sixth wicket.

It was Ashwin who produced the double break-through, first trapping Kruger for 31 before getting Franklin out stumped for 41. 

Southee and Bracewell both went with the score on 222. The first bowled by Ashwin for two and later trapped LBW for 22 by Ojha.

Jeetan Patel and Trent Boult safely negotiated the remaining 17 balls and will resume tomorrow.

Day 2: Honours shared on day two

India trail New Zealand by 82 runs with five wickets in hand at stumps on day two of the second Test at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

Virat Kohli has been the stand-out performer and will resume tomorrow on 93 along with captain MS Dhoni who is unbeaten on 46 as they look to build on their current total of 283 for five.

Tim Southee re-discovered some of his bowling form with a devastating early spell that saw the recalled fast-bowler shift Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara inside ten overs.

Gambhir faced only 12 deliveries for two runs when Southee clipped the top of off-stump while Pujara skied a short ball to fine leg where Trent Boult completed a fine running catch.

As expected, Virender Sehwag was aggressive, hitting eight boundaries in his 43 before Doug Bracewell and Daniel Flynn combined to remove the Indian opener.  Exploiting some movement Bracewell pitched up a delivery that Sehwag hit firmly off his pads with mid-wicket fielder Daniel Flynn throwing himself through to air to grasp the ball high to his right.

That brought Sachin Tendulkar to the crease a lot earlier than India would be comfortable with the world’s leading run scorer attracting a huge applause of the adoring crowd.   He had carefully worked his way to 17 off 50 deliveries when Bracewell stuck. The dismissal was as comprehensive as they come with the little master getting his middle stump rocked back by ball that swung just enough to beat the bat.

A frustrating period followed for New Zealand, highlighted by the reprieve given to Suresh when on 49.  Jeetan Patel beat the bat and Kruger van Wyk quickly removed the bails to complete what appeared to be a cut-and-dry stumping.  However, the third umpire refused to give him out, ruling that Patel had over stepped.  

India negotiated the rest of the period, going to tea at 168 for four.

Southee picked up an important scalp soon after the break, dismissing Raina for 55.  The left-hander nibbled at one that slanted down the leg-side and edged to wicket-keeper, van Wyk who made no mistake.

The young seam attack continued to ask questions of the locals all day despite the old ball offering very little assistance.  Boult steamed in and was the paciest of the BLACKCAPS, recording speeds of over 145 km but it was Southee (3-35) and Bracewell (2-66) who were rewarded with wickets.

Earlier New Zealand resumed on 328 for six, addding 37 runs in 6.1 overs.

Kruger van Wyk was the first to fall when he guided Zaheer Kahn to third slip for a hard fought 71.  The wicket brought the end to a bright 99 run partnership for the seventh wicket with van Wyk and Bracewell coming together at 246 for six.

Bracewell will consider himself unlucky when he was run-out for his highest Test score of 43.  There was little he could do when Tim Southee firmly struck a Kahn delivery straight back with bowler attempted to gather the ball but instead deflecting it onto the stumps leaving Bracewell just  short at the non-striker's end.

Patel was caught at third-man for a duck while Southee swatted 14 before getting given LBW.

Ohja was the best of the Indian attack taking five for 99.

Day 1: Taylor ton boosts NZ on day one

Ross Taylor struck a brilliant century to underpin a solid first day for New Zealand against India at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

Martin Guptill chipped in with a bullish 53 while Kruger van Wyk (63*) and Doug Bracewell  (30*) stand firm as the BLACKCAPS closed on 328 for six at stumps.

Batting first after winning the toss, New Zealand made a wobbly start with Brendon McCullum out LBW after facing five balls from Zaheer Khan.  Kane Williamson managed 17 before he was also fell victim to a leg-before decision to give Pragyan Ojha his first wicket.

Taylor and Guptill then took New Zealand to 89 before Guptill lashed a spinning Ojha delivery to mid-wicket shortly after reaching his half-century.

The loss of three wickets didn’t deter Taylor who continued his positive intent and found a willing partner in Daniel Flynn with the pair defying India to put on 107 run for the fourth wicket and powering the side to 196.

However when Flynn was the trapped in front for 33 off Ashwin and James Franklin struck a full toss from Ojha to mid-wicket the team was left teetering on 215 for five.

The BLACKCAPS captain though, refused to go into his shell, bringing up his seventh Test ton by cutting Ojha to the boundary before disposing him over the fence two balls later to put an exclamation mark on his milestone.
 
There was plenty of resolve and a heap of aggression in his fine inning that came to an end on 113, with Ojha picking up another LBW that helped him to decent figures of four for 90.

Van Wyk and Bracewell then guided New Zealand to the 81.3 over mark before bad light ended the day’s play.

 

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