Covers sport across NZME's print, digital and radio brands.

Cricket: India dominate third day against the Black Caps

A collapse of nine wickets for 103 runs, including a torrent of 5-7 to complete the first innings, compromised and possibly curtailed New Zealand's chances of winning the opening test against India in Kanpur.

The visitors succumbed to the hosts' spin dominance to be all out for 262 on the third day. To compound New Zealand's disappointment, India gave the impression of batting on a different wicket in their second innings. They posted a carefree 159 for one to lead by 215 at stumps with Murali Vijay not out 60 and Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 54 as part of a century stand.

That is effectively an unbeatable position as puffs of dust began detonating around the popping creases.

Any hope of New Zealand building pressure leaked through a faulty boundary-laden valve which allowed the score to keep ticking over. Vijay and Pujara refused to let their opponents settle.

It was an indictment on an attack of three spinners that part-timer Martin Guptill marked out his run-up in the 28th over. In one consolation, Ish Sodhi appeared to get decent bite from the wicket in his second spell. He removed Lokesh Rahul for 38 via a Ross Taylor catch at slip.

Ravindra Jadeja, with five wickets for 73 from 34 overs, and Ravi Ashwin, with four for 93 from 30.5 overs, scythed through the Black Caps' first innings. The pair settled into a rhythm quickly, paralysing the New Zealanders on the crease. All wickets except Ashwin's caught-and-bowled of B-J Watling occurred within a two-metre radius of the stumps.

New Zealand endured a calamitous start, too. They were reduced to 170 for four after losing three wickets for 18 runs from the first 8.4 overs.

Ashwin claimed the key wicket of Kane Williamson for 75. He pitched a fraction short, encouraging the New Zealand captain to shape for a square cut. The ball gripped, cramping the No.3, and creating an 'open sesame' between bat and pad.

No batsman should feel safe in this test as a result of that ball's turn, although the Indians put that hypothesis under threat. The Williamson exit highlighted why New Zealand needed a significant first-innings lead as insurance against batting last.

The fashion of his dismissal suggested contagion might spread through the dressing room, with players shuffling from bathroom to gearbag to pitch block.

Luke Ronchi and Santner initially staved off any such turnstile effect in a 49-run fifth-wicket stand. They delivered stability with positive strokes and a reasonable rotation of the strike.

Ronchi justified his test return. The 72nd over against Jadeja was an example. His elegance off the back foot to caress the left-arm orthodox spinner to the cover boundary demonstrated timing. Soft hands to defuse a slip catch from an edge exhibited control. Jadeja eventually exacted revenge via an lbw, trapping him for 38. The innings demise was swift from there.

Earlier, Tom Latham (58) and Williamson extended their second-wicket partnership by seven runs to 124 as they fended off the aggressive fingerspin and volatile larynxes crowding the bat. They demonstrated the application required to succeed in India.

Taylor was a victim to sitting-in-the-pads syndrome after being on-call for 42.2 overs. He was struck in front for a second-ball duck, as a Jadeja ball slid on.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 24 May 2017 00:16:04 Processing Time: 740ms