India played their 250th test in home soil against New Zealand. After a win at Kanpur, India played the 2nd test in the series vs Blackcaps at Kolkata. The match started on last Friday and India clinch a win in 4 days. With a second win in the 3-match Test series, India has unassailable lead of 2-0. Let’s see what happened in this test match, how the teams performed in this review.
On September 30, Friday – Indian Captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first in the tricky Kolkata pitch. India made 2 changes to their XI with Shikhar Dhawan replaced injured KL Rahul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came in for Umesh Yadav. New Zealand also made changes in their XI. The big blow for Kiwis was their Captain Kane Williams ruled out due to illness. Henry Nichols, Jeetan Patel and Matt Henry got an opportunity to play a game.
Day – 1 :
Indian opener’s Murali Vijay and Dhawan did not has good outing on first hour of a match. Matt Henry stunned Indian top-order in the first hour of play. He took a wicket of Dhawan in his very first over. He also took a wicket of Vijay and Vijay gone for just 9 runs. India were 28-2 at that time. Captain Virat Kohli had one more bad day in the series with bat. He gone for just 9 runs. Ajinkya Rahane joined with Pujara and both batsmen involved in rescue work. Both Rahane and Pujara batted well and made India past 100 runs mark after lunch. Pujara reached his 3rd half-century of the series and Rahane made his first.
Wagner broke the 141-run stand when Pujara gone for 87 runs. India were 187-4 when Rohit walked into middle. Jeetan Patel took two quick wickets and he took a wicket of Rohit Sharma first, he scored only 2 runs. Then, well settled Rahane got out for 77 runs off Patel’s off spin. Little cameo of Ashwin came to an end with his 26 runs. India posted 239 of the board for the loss of 7 wickets at stumps of day 1. Saha (14 runs) and Jadeja (0) were the two batsmen who remained not out.
India resumed their first innings on Day-2 with 239-7. Indian players managed to bat for first 10 overs without loss of any further wicket. Wagner got his 2 wicket when Jadeja gone for 14. Wicket-keeper Saha continued his good work and scored his first half-century. Santner and Boult shared lost 2 wickets and India all out for 316. Saha remained not out for 54. For Kiwis, Boult, Wagner and Patel took 2 wickets each and Henry picked up 3 wickets.
Then, New Zealand started their first innings and they also had similar start like Indian openers. Shami got a first one and Latham out for 1 run. On other side, Bhuvneshwar Kumar came up with 2 wickets. First it was Martin Guptill (13 runs), second one was Nicholls who gone for just 1 run. New Zealand players gone for lunch with loss of 3 wickets. When play resumes, Captain Ross Taylor and Ronchi fought to rescue his team. Ronchi played his shots in regular intervals. Jadeja broke the partnership and took a wicket of Ronchi who made 35 runs. New Zealand were struggling with 85-4.
After the wicket of Ronchi, players walked back to pavilion due to rain. Play resumed after 2 hours. With one hour play remained for a day, Bhuvneshwar back to bowling and he picked 3 wickets in no time. First it was skipper Ross Taylor. Then, Bhuvi took back to back wickets in the 33rd over. Santner and Henry were the players who lost their wickets to Bhuvneshwar. With these 3 wickets, Bhuvi claimed another 5 wicket haul in his test career. At close of play, New Zealand were 128 for 7.
On day three, New Zealand resumed with Watling and Jeetan. These two players managed to play for 13 overs without losing wickets. Jeetan Patel played aggressive innings and he ended up for 47 runs off 47 balls. Ashwin was the wicket taker. With Shami’s two quick wickets, New Zealand winded up their innings for 204. Jeetan Patel was the top-scorer with 47 runs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India’s best bowler in this innings who took 5 for 48 and Shami took 3 wickets for 70 runs. India got a lead of 112 runs in the first innings. With the strong lead of 112, Indian openers comes out to bat in the 2nd innings.
Once again it was Matt Henry who got early wicket. Vijay was a first victim who caught out in the slip for 7 runs. Pujara the man who scored hat-trick of half centuries in the series got out for just 4 runs and Henry picked his second in the innings. Shikhar Dhawan was the next man who walked back to the pavilion for 17 runs. India were struggling 3-34. Henry back with his 3rd in the innings when he made Rahane out for just 1. India were at deep trouble with 43 for 4.
Indian skipper Kohli and Rohit Sharma fought hard to come up from the bad start. After the survival of 1 hour, Kohli lost his wicket to Trent Boult and he made 45 runs to his name. India were 91 for 5, soon it turned out as 106 for 6 when all-rounder Ashwin gone for 5 runs. Wicket-keeper Saha joined Rohit and these two batsmen took it over from New Zealand. Both were played sensibly and Rohit Sharma reached his half-century. Rohit continued his good work and on other end, Saha played his part well too. The partnership were broken after added 103- runs for 7th wicket. Rohit was the man who dismissed for 82 runs (9 fours and 2 Sixes). Santner was the bowler who picked a wickets of Ashwin and Rohit. Santner came with his 3rd wicket and Jadeja was the man who dismissed for 6 runs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar joined with Sahan and these two managed with no more wicket loss. At stumps on day-3, India were 217 for 8. India was happy with 339 runs lead at end of day-3.
Day -4 :
Day – 4 of this Kolkata test started with India continuing their 2nd innings. Bhuvi and Saha took a responsibility on their shoulders and played some good shots. Bhuvi lost his wicket to Wagner for 23 and Shami lost his wicket to Trent Boult. India all out for 263 runs and they set 276 as a target for Kiwis. Saha remained not out 58 runs and he scored his second fifty of the match. From New Zealand point of view, Boult, Henry and Santner all shared 3 wickets each.
With the toughest target on this pitch (376 runs to win) New Zealand openers comes out to bat in their 2nd innings. Both openers Guptill and Latham managed to keep their wickets at lunch. New Zealand had good start and posted 54 for 0 in 16 overs. In post lunch session, Ashwin got the first breakthrough straight after lunch. Guptill was the man who gone for 24 runs. Henry Nicholls joined with Latham and they played well for the 2nd wicket. Jadeja took a wicket of Nicholls when he was at 24. Blackcaps lost their 2nd wickets and their score were 104 for 2. Captain Taylor walked back for just 4 runs and Ashwin picked up his second. New Zealand lost 3 wickets in the 2nd session and gone for tea with a score of 135-3. Tom Latham was in the middle with 74 runs.
After tea break, Indian bowlers were came back strongly. First Ashwin picked a wicket of well-settled Latham for 74. Shami came back to bowl and picked 2 quick wickets. Santner and Watling were the men who dismissed and New Zealand down to 156-6. After few overs, Ronchi lost his wicket to Jadeja and he scored 32 runs. Kumar cleared a off stump of Jeetal Patel. Mohammed Shami picked his 3rd wicket and it was the winning moment for India. Trent Boult was the last man who dismissed for 4 runs.
India won the match by 178 runs. Wriddhiman Saha adjusted as Man of the Match for his two half -centuries in the match. India lead the 3 match series 2-0 and secured a series win. With this win, India climbed to no. 1 in Test rankings.
India vs New Zealand 3rd test match starts on coming Saturday. Will New Zealand come back well and win the last match? Or India will win the series 3-0? Let’s wait for 4 days time and let watch this outstanding last match of the series.
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