India set New Zealand 434 to win Kanpur test
KANPUR – Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja smashed unbeaten half-centuries before India declared their second innings on 377 for five, setting New Zealand a daunting 434-run victory target in the first test on Sunday.
Resuming day four on 159-1, India’s top order batsman failed to build on good starts against New Zealand’s three-pronged spin attack at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium as the tourists asserted some early pressure.
Ajinkya Rahane’s (40) cameo and the unbroken century stand between Sharma and Jadeja, however, ensured New Zealand will have to post the highest fourth innings total in test history for an improbable victory.
Rather predictably, Kane Williamson attacked with spin from both ends when India resumed on 159-1 and the slow bowlers, thriving on a fourth day surface, did not let the New Zealand skipper down.
Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner earned the breakthrough when he trapped Murali Vijay lbw for 76, ending the right-hander’s second century-plus stand of the match with Cheteshwar Pujara (78).
Virat Kohli did not look comfortable against Santner but it was off-spinner Mark Craig who dismissed the Indian skipper when he attempted a slog-sweep that found Ish Sodhi at deep midwicket.
Sodhi struck the next blow with a beauty of a delivery that spun from outside leg, took the outside edge of Pujara’s bat and nestled into Ross Taylor’s waiting hands in the slip. Rahane missed his fifty but Sharma went on to complete his half-century and remained not out on 68.
Jadeja, who scored 42 not out in the first innings and claimed five wickets with his left-arm spin, continued to have a good match. The southpaw clobbered three sixes en route to his second test fifty which he celebrated by twirling the bat. India declared immediately and tea was taken. -Reuters
India 1st innings 318 (M. Vijay 65, C. Pujara 62) New Zealand 1st innings 262 (K. Williamson 75, T. Latham 58; R. Jadeja 5-73, R. Ashwin 4-93) India 2nd innings (Overnight: 159-1) L. Rahul c Taylor b Sodhi 38 M. Vijay lbw b Santner 76 C. Pujara c Taylor b Sodhi 78 V. Kohli c Sodhi b Craig 18 A. Rahane c Taylor b Santner 40 Ro. Sharma not out 68 R. Jadeja not out 50 Extras (b-1 lb-8) 9 Total (for 5 wickets declared, 107.2 overs) 377 Fall of wickets: 1-52 L. Rahul,2-185 M. Vijay,3-214 V. Kohli,4-228 C. Pujara,5-277 A. Rahane Did not bat: R. Ashwin, W. Saha, M. Shami, U. Yadav Bowling T. Boult 9 - 0 - 34 - 0 M. Santner 32.2 - 11 - 79 - 2 M. Craig 23 - 3 - 80 - 1 N. Wagner 16 - 5 - 52 - 0 I. Sodhi 20 - 2 - 99 - 2 M. Guptill 4 - 0 - 17 - 0 K. Williamson 3 - 0 - 7 - 0 Referees Umpire: Richard Kettleborough Umpire: Rod Tucker TV umpire: Anil Chaudhary Match referee: David Boon -Reuters