CRICKET

Kanpur Test Day 5: It’s a draw!

, Six Sports

The 5 days of Test cricket in Green Park was another exciting episode of the game displaying why it is still the highest level of the sport. India and New Zealand the two top-ranked teams in the ICC rankings played according to their reputation and fought hard till the last ball was bowled. The contest witnessed the emergence of stars both with the bat and the ball. The Green Park track had an uneven bounce from Day 1 and thus it was always was going to be a tough challenge for the batters.

A fightback following another

At 4-1, opener Tom Latham accompanied nightwatchman William Sommerville to bat as the Blackcaps needed another 280 runs to win. Tom Latham who kept the Indian spinners at bay in the 2nd innings, repeated the same in the 4th innings. Great use of the feet and Latham’s expertise on his sweeps, helped him counter the spin trio efficiently. In addition, Somerville left experts amused with his defense as he stitched a valuable stand with Latham for more than 30 overs. The morning session ended without a wicket.

If the Kiwis won the morning session, India had to dominate the post-lunch session. And the Rahane led side did not disappoint. A short-pitched delivery from Umesh Yadav and a stunning effort by Gill to grab Somerville’s pull helped India get their first breakthrough of the day.

Ashwin now the 3rd highest wicket-taker for India

A small partnership between Latham and Ross Taylor did the damage control past Somerville’s wicket. But in the 55th over, Ashwin gave India the most important wicket of the well-set Latham. Latham’s wicket made Ashwin India’s 3rd highest wicket-taker in Tests surpassing legendary off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The Indian spinners took wickets at regular intervals as the New Zealand middle order failed to tackle the spin.

Ravindra and Ravindra show

Jadeja whose wicket-taking abilities were under the scanner for quite some time was at his best taking 4 scalps in 28 overs. After Southee was dismissed by Jadeja in the 90th over, it looked that the match had gone quite far from New Zealand’s reach. But Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra had other plans.

, Six Sports

The two Indian-origin players banked on their defense and efficiently negotiated the turn of the red ball. The duo resisted the pack of Indian bowlers leaving no room for a wicket. On a pitch that was slowing down with every ball bowled, it was never easy for either the bowler or the batter to do their respective jobs. And Ravindra showed exceptional mental strength playing 9i1 deliveries unfazed and unperturbed. With bad light being an obstacle again, the match petered out in a draw.

Off to Wankhede

Shreyas Iyer was adjudged the Player of the Match for his stellar century in the 1st innings and a gritty fifty in the 3rd on his debut.

, Six Sports

The 1st Test Match between India and New Zealand turned out as a terrific contest. Now all eyes will be on the Wankhede Stadium of Mumbai where both the teams will clash for the final Test. Virat Kohli will come back to the side and as always the battle between Kohli and Kane will be a treat for the viewers.

Brief scores: India 345 (Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 52, Ravindra Jadeja 50; Tim Southee 5-69) and 234/7 declare. (Shreyas Iyer 65 W Saha 61*; Kyle Jamieson 3-40, Tim Southee 3-75) drew with New Zealand 296 (Tom Latham 95, Will Young 89; Axar Patel 5-62) and 165/9 (Tom Latham 52; R Ashwin 4-40

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