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Dhawan, Ishant Put India In Control

Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot
Shikhar Dhawan drives a shot past a tumbling Trent Boult
©REUTERS / Action Images
Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma (right) took six wickets to bowl New Zealand out cheaply
©REUTERS / Action Images

New Zealand 192 (I Sharma 6-51) v
India 100-2 (Dhawan 71no)
Second Test, Wellington, day one

Ishant Sharma took career-best figures of six for 51 and Shikhar Dhawan stroked an unbeaten 71 to put India in control after day one of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Dhawan’s free-flowing 71 unbeaten runs helped India take charge after they finished day one at 100 for two in 28 overs.


New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling (+), Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c/+), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Zaheer Khan

This was after Ishant took career best figures of six for 51 to bowl the Black Caps out for a paltry 192 in their first innings. At the Basin Reserve, after 11 wickets fell on the first day, India trail by 92 runs. They lost the first Test in Auckland by 40 runs.

Dhawan had reached his half-century in the 22nd over of the innings, hitting ten fours and one six overall, as he put up 87 runs for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (19). The latter had come out to bat early, since Murali Vijay (2) was dismissed in the 2nd over of the day by Tim Southee (1-20).

Trent Boult (1-18) trapped Pujara LBW some 20 minutes before stumps. Neil Wagner (0-36), Corey Anderson (0-14) and James Neesham (0-8) went wicketless, as Ishant came out as the night-watchman, and saw off some hostile bowling to remain unbeaten on three runs, signing off the day to India.

Earlier in this final session, Ishant and Mohammad Shami (4-70) had together bowled out the Black Caps for a lowly score in this must-win Test. Zaheer Khan (0-57) was unlucky to not take any wickets, while Ravindra Jadeja (0-12) bowled just two overs on a green-top wicket.

Kane Williamson top scored with 47 runs, but no other New Zealand batsman crossed the 40-run mark which cast a telling blow on their overall score.

Starting at 166 for eight post-tea, Southee threw his bat around in search of quick runs and hit three sixes, as he raced to run-a-ball 32, hitting one four as well. He became Ishant’s sixth victim in the 52nd over, a soft catch to Vijay at mid-wicket.

Shami on the other end accounted for last-man Boult (2), bringing the innings to a close in the fourth over after tea. Wagner (5) was the unbeaten batsman.  

In the afternoon session, Williamson and Anderson started at 51 for four with the two batsmen looking to control the damage done in the first session. The latter looked to hit out and counter attack the bowling, in a bid to drive back the Indian bowlers who were looking very menacing. He hit three fours and one six in this bid, but couldn’t last long enough to sustain the innings.

He was snapped up by Ishant, the hero of the day, in the 34th over of the innings, eighth after the break. Anderson made 24 runs (43 balls), before an inside edge ballooned off his pad and went straight to Virat Kohli at gully, adding 39 valuable runs with Williamson, who was again lucky having survived twice before lunch.

Ishant took his fifth wicket in the 36th over, dismissing BJ Watling for a duck. The batsman was caught in the slips by Rohit Sharma.

He should have had a sixth in the same over, but Williamson was again caught off a no ball. The batsman, who got lives on 15 and 23 runs, then cut loose and hit five more boundaries as he put on 47 runs with Jimmy Neesham, with the hosts' hundred coming up in the 39th over.

Four overs later, Shami got the vital breakthrough, with Rohit again getting into the act at second slip, as Williamson couldn’t survive this time. He faced 100 balls, hitting six boundaries in all.

Neesham scored 33 runs (35 balls, seven fours) on his debut to help his side cross the 150-run mark in the 46th over. But in the very next, Shami snapped him up as well, with the batsman edging behind to MS Dhoni.

In the morning session, Ishant took three wickets in the first four overs of his morning spell as India reduced New Zealand to 51 for four.

Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford took strike for the hosts, as Zaheer got proceedings underway. While the experienced speedster hit probing lengths immediately, Shami was still in the same mode as at Eden Park, bowling a tad short and looking for bounce from the wicket than movement in the air.

He was negotiated easily by the batsmen as the openers took 14 runs off his first three overs.
It meant that Ishant was introduced into the attack as early as the eighth over and thereon, went on to bowl unchanged for nine overs, turning the morning session India’s way.

In his second over, 10th of the innings, Rutherford (12) was unable to keep down a well-aimed short ball and was caught by Vijay at first slip.  

Two overs later, Ishant bowled an inswinger that hit Fulton (13) on his pads and was trapped LBW, resulting in another poor start for the Kiwis. In his third over of the morning then, the bowler continued his good work and made debutant Tom Latham’s day a bad one, dismissing him for a duck in his first Test innings. Ishant’s spell so far read 3.4-2-1-3 as New Zealand were reeling at 26 for three.

It brought Auckland’s double-centurion Brendon McCullum to the crease and together with the in-form Kane Williamson, he avoided further damage for nine overs but only put on 19 runs for the fourth wicket, when Shami returned and bowled a much improved fuller length in his second spell.

It earned him just reward, as McCullum (8) played a loose shot and was caught by Jadeja at mid-off.  
As the morning turned out to be an uncomfortable one for their hosts, India could have had another wicket in the last over before lunch, when Williamson was caught by Dhoni off Zaheer in the 26th over. But it was a no ball and the batsman, who had survived a close LBW shout off Ishant in the 24th over, was again lucky.

Earlier, Dhoni won his seventh straight toss on the tour and elected to bowl first. The visitors didn’t make any changes to their eleven from the previous game which they lost by 40 runs inside four days.

New Zealand had already declared their eleven on the evening prior, with Ross Taylor and Ish Sodhi making way for Test debutants Tom Latham and James Neesham.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

19th January: 1st ODI, McLean Park, Napier

NZL 292-7 beat IND 268 by 24 runs
22nd January: 2nd ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton

NZL 271-7 beat IND 277-9 by 15 runs (D/L)
28th January: 4th ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton

NZL 280-3 beat IND 278-5 by 7 wickets
6th-10th February: 1st Test, Eden Park, Auckland

NZL 503 & 105 beat IND 202 & 366 by 40 runs
14th-18th February: 2nd Test, The Basin Reserve, Wellington

NZL 192 & 680-8d. drew with IND 438 & 166-3