New Zealand’s middle-order all made starts without going on to make a telling contribution, but it was enough to set up what will an intriguing fourth innings run chase for India in the second Test in Bangalore. Tim Southee had bowled an inspired new-ball spell in the morning to earn New Zealand a slender 12-run first innings lead, which by stumps they had extended to 244 for the loss of nine second innings wickets.
India had resumed on 283 for five in their first innings and would have had high hopes of building a useful first innings lead with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni at the crease. However, they reckoned without Southee, who returned figures for the day of four for 29 to end with overall figures of seven for 64. With the second new ball, which was taken in the third over of the day, he found swing both into and away from the right-handers and accounted for Kohli in his second over, shortly after the 23 year-old had completed his second Test century. Both he and Dhoni were trapped leg-before after failing to read inswingers to make it 312 for seven.
Dhoni’s wicket was Southee’s 50th in Test cricket and he soon had his 51st and 52nd when Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha feathered behind to Kruger van Wyk without making much of an impression. Umesh Yadav and R Ashwin (32 not out) then added a useful 33 for the final wicket, with Yadav contributing just four of them before being bowled by Trent Boult with the score on 353. New Zealand’s openers then successfully negotiated the five overs until lunch and reached 29 without loss.
Any hopes that they may have had of batting India out of the match were soon laid to rest, however, as Umesh Yadav, making amends for a disappointing first innings showing, extracted both openers in successive overs. First to go was Martin Guptill, inside edging a low full toss onto his stumps, while Brendon McCullum was induced into a poke at a good-length delivery and feathered a catch to Dhoni.
With all seven wickets in the day so far having fallen to pace and this being India, Ashwin and Ojha set about changing all that and again had the better of most of the New Zealand middle-order. Kane Williamson was the third man to go, caught at slip by Virender Sehwag, but Ojha claimed the big wicket; that of Ross Taylor just before tea to make it 123 for four going into the break.
Afterwards, James Franklin played securely in making 41, but he became the seventh wicket to fall to follow Daniel Flynn (31) and Kruger van Wyk (31) with the score on 216. Southee couldn’t replicate his form with the ball when wielding the willow and had scored just two before being lured into an expansive drive by Ashwin to give the off-spinner his fifth wicket of the innings. Doug Bracewell was ninth man out, trapped in front by Ojha, as the visitors reached stumps on 232 for nine. Ashwin ended the day with figures of five for 69, while Ojha had two for 48 and Yadav the two that he had picked up in the afternoon session.
© Cricket World 2012
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