One of much awaited Test series in recent times, India vs New Zealand kick started on September 22, 2016 at Kanpur. This Test match turned out as special match in Indian Test Cricket, because it’s India’s 500th Test! On day-5 India won the match comfortably by 197 runs and assured the Win on 500th Test match they played!
On day – 1, Indian Captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. After brisk start, India lost the first wicket for 42 runs. Lokesh Rahul got out for 32 off Santner’s spin. Pujara and Vijay partnership was key on day-1. Both of them scored half-century and Kiwi bowlers struggled to break the partnership. Once they done, Pujara got out for 65 and again Santner took a wicket. That was the point, India started to lose wickets.
Captain Kohli gone for just 9 and then Murali Vijay got out for well made 65. In the 3rd session, NZ bowlers attacked very well and took 5 Indian wickets in the last session of Day-1. Ravi Ashwin played good innings of 40 and Rohit scored 35. At end of Day-1 India posted 291-9 in 90 overs. Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav were at the crease. Among Kiwi bowlers, Santner (3) and Boult (3) were the pick of the bowlers.
On day-2, India resumed the innings with Jadeja and Yadav. Jadeja played some strokes in early of the day and Yadav hanged in the middle to give him a support. Indian 1st innings comes to an end when Umesh got out for 9. Wagner picked the final wicket.
New Zealand started their innings with their openers Guptill and Latham. Guptill got out for 21 inside the first of hour of NZ batting. Umesh got the breakthrough. Captain Kane Williamson joined Latham and these 2 gave headache to Indian bowlers. At one point Latham were got out at short leg but as the ball touched the fielders helmet, 3rd umpire announced it as not-out. Kane and Latham assured no more wicket loss until Tea of Day-2. NZ score were 152/1. Rain interrupted the start of 3rd session and rain won the 3rd session as umpire called no more play on day-2.
Every cricket fans were on the thought of New Zealand going to dominate Day-3 and will take a lead. But, Indian spinners came in to play when day-3 resumed. Ashwin and Jadeja became a threat to Kiwi batting order. Ashwin took a wicket off Latham, he added just 2 runs to the overnight score and got out for 58. Experienced batsman Ross Taylor walked in and walked back to pavilion without disturbing the scorers. He faced 3 balls and Jadeja took leg before wicket. Ashwin also picked a wicket of Captain Williamson, who got out for well made 75.
The wicket of Williamson, turned the match in to India’s favor suddenly. Luke Ronchi and Santner played some good cricket, but Jadeja broke the partnership and Ronchi walked back for 38 runs. Ashwin picked a wickets of Santner (32) and Watling (21). Jadeja picked up 3 wickets in quick time and ensure NZ’s tail-enders collapsed.
New Zealand got all out for 262 runs in 96 overs. Williamson (75) and Latham (58) were the top scorers for Black Caps. Indian spinners dominated, Ashwin picked 4/93 and Jadeja with 5/73.
India started their 2nd innings on session 2 of Day-3, Once again KL Rahul played a quick innings. He scored 38 runs with 8 fours. Ish Sodhi picked a first one for Black Caps. The score were 52/1. Once again Pujara joined with Vijay and the 2 batsmen played sensible innings. The partnership between Pujara and Vijay were so good, both batsmen scored their second half-century of the match respectively. India did not lose any more wicket on day-3. At stumps on Day – 3 India were 159/1 with the lead of 215 runs. Test cricket could change at any moment and Day-3 of this test match was an example. Kiwis had upper-hand until Day-2. But Indian spinners had strong outing on day-3 and secured 56 runs lead for their team.
Day-4, India resumed with Pujara and Vijay on the middle (159/1) and these two continued to play good shots on first hour of the day. The 133 – runs partnership were broken when Santner took a wicket of Vijay (76) with a LBW. Score were 185/2 when the captain Kohli walks in to the middle. He had some tough time in this match. His shots were not timed well and he got out for 18 to Sodhi. Chateshwar Pujara got out for 78 off Sodhi and India’s score were 228/4. Rahane and Rohit played attacking shots. The both Mumbai players were in attacking mode. Santner broke the partnership with Rahane’s wicket (40 runs) and India’s lead was 333 at that time.
Ravindra Jadeja came to the middle to join Rohit Sharma. These two played lot of shots and took a game out from New Zealander’s hands. The healthy partnership of 100 runs took India to 377/5 and captain Kohli declared India’s 2nd innings. Ravindra Jadeja remained not out for 50 runs ( 2 Fours and 3 Sixes) and Rohit Sharma also remained not out with a score of 68 runs (8 fours). India sets the target of 430 runs.
New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham started their 2nd innings with the target of 430 runs in front of them. They started 2nd innings on post tea session on Day-4. Ravi Ashwin gave early shock by dismissing Guptill for 0 and Latham for 2 on the same over. Blackcaps were 3/2 when Ross Taylor joined his captain Williamson. These two experienced players spent their time to recover from the early disaster. After an hour, Ashwin came back with a wicket of Williamson who got out for 25 runs. Luke Ronchi came to crease when the scorecard of 43/3 and need 387 more to win in front of him. After few overs Ross Taylor lost his wicket to Umesh Yadav’s accurate throw.
New man Santner and Ronchi made sure there no more wicket loss on day-4. So, stumps on day-4 New Zealand were on 93/4 and required 337 more runs to win with one day’s play left. Ashwin was the pick of the bowler in NZ’s second innings. He took all important 3 wickets.
Day – 5 Started with Santner and Ronchi in the middle and with score of 93/4. These 2 players shown some characters with their approach on final day. They blocked well, but Indian spinners were keep on coming and finally Jadeja broke the partnership of Ronchi and Santner (partnership 102 runs). Ronchi got out for well played 80 runs (9 fours and 1 six).
Just before the lunch on Day-5, the seamer Shami took a wicket of Watling and Craig which made NZ down to 196/7. Post lunch session were completely on India who just need 3 wickets to win. After well made half century, Santner finally lost his wicket (71 off 179) to the mystery delivery of Ashwin. Kiwis lost 8th wicket for 223 runs. Ashwin cleared up Sodhi’s leg stump and took his 19th 5 wicket haul. India completed the formalities with the wicket of Wagner (0) and it was Ashwin’s 6th in the innings. India won the game comfortably by 197 runs and lead the 3 match series with 1-0.
Ashwin took 10 wickets in a match one more time and he received award of Bankable player of the match and the other spinner in Indian line-up who took total of 6 wickets and 44 on 1st innings and 50 on 2nd innings, Ravi Jadeja won Man of the Match award. The man from Saurashtra goes to History book as a Man of the Match on the Historic 500th Test!
As India lead the series 1-0, the home team sitting relax and looking forward to the second game which starts in 3 days time. On the other hand, New Zealanders should bring their never give up attitude and need to come back very strong to level the series at Kolkata. Lot of up and downs were happened in this match for both the teams. India dominated first 2 sessions of Day-1 but Kiwi’s came back hard and dominated the game until day-2. But Indian spinners came more so strong and changed the course of the match to India’s favor. From Day-3 it clearly turn in to India’s game and they won it comfortable by 197 runs.
Second match starts on Friday, sep. 30 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Let’s wait for just 3 days to witness another interesting game of Test Cricket between these two teams!
Wishes to all the Fantasy Winners who won their games with this test match!!