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New Zealand pull things back on day one after Vijay, Pujara fifties

Mitchell Santner celebrating the wicket of Rohit Sharma on day one of the Kanpur Test
Mitchell Santner celebrating the wicket of Rohit Sharma on day one of the Kanpur Test
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 291-9 (Vijay 65) v New Zealand
First Test, day one, Kanpur

New Zealand bowlers led by Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner made a tremendous comeback to restrict India from 154 for one at one stage to 291 for nine at stumps on day one of the first Test in Kanpur.

India won the toss and elected to bat first in their 500th Test match overall. Lokesh Rahul (32) started the innings positively scoring two boundaries off the first over from Boult (3-57) and followed it with two more fours off the same bowler in the seventh.

Rahul scored the first six of the innings in the 11th over but Santner (3-77) had his revenge after having him caught behind couple of deliveries later ending the 42-run opening stand.

Murali Vijay (65) and Cheteshwar Pujara (62) took India safely to 50 for one at the end of the first hour of play. New Zealand bowlers had put a brake on the scoring rate where they conceded just 16 runs in the next seven overs.

After weathering a tough period, the pair went on the ascendancy and soon brought the 50-run stand for the second wicket in the 27th over. India managed to score 105 for one at the end of first session in which 31 overs were bowled.

Runs started to come more freely in the second session and it was Vijay, who reached to half-century first in 119 deliveries and soon Pujara joined his partner, needing 84 deliveries for the milestone.

The 112-run stand for the second wicket finally ended when Pujara chipped a simple return catch to Santner in the 49th over.

Neil Wagner's (1-42) ploy to attack the Indian captain with short pitch deliveries paid dividends as Virat Kohli (9) found the deep fine leg fielder and few overs later, Vijay was caught behind off Ish Sodhi (1-50). India were 185 for four at that stage.

The Indian innings sunk further when Ajinkya Rahane (18) edged one to the short leg fielder. Rohit Sharma (35) and Ravichandran Ashwin (40) provided some respite with a 52-run stand between them.

However, New Zealand dominated the final session after Santner had Sharma caught at mid on which was immediately followed by a triple strike from Boult to dismiss Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (0) and Mohammad Shami (0) to rattle India to 291 for nine at the end of the day.

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