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Tuesday, May 26th

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India on Top after Day 1 on a green seamer at Wellington

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India took charge of the 2nd Test match against New Zealand on Day 1 by skittling out the hosts for a 192  before ending the day on an impressive 100/2   on a green seamer at Wellington. India captain MS Dhoni won the toss for the 7th consecutive time on the tour and had no hesitation in electing to bowl on a green wicket.

India’s bowlers vindicated Dhoni’s decision by reducing a Ross Taylor less Kiwi batting unit to 51/4 by Lunch time. Ishant Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the session and picked up 3 of the 4 wickets to fall. Debutant Tom Latham who replaced Ross Taylor went for a duck, coming in at No.4 while last Test’s double centurion Brendon McCullum(8) smashed a half volley from Mohammed Shami straight down the throat of Jadeja, stationed at short mid-off, to give India the ascendancy. India were unlucky not to get a 5th wicket on the last ball before lunch as Zaheer Khan had Kane Williamson(47), caught behind off a no-ball.

The session after Lunch saw some rear-guard action from the Kiwi pair of Williamson and Corey Anderson. The duo took the attack to the Indian seamers on a wicket that had appreciable movement and added 39 runs for the 5th wicket before Anderson was done in by a short of a length ball from Ishant Sharma. Sharma picked up his 6th wicket of the day soon after by getting Kiwi wicket keeper BJ Watling caught at second slip for a duck.

Jimmy Neesham and the extremely fortuitous Kane Williamson, who was caught once again off a no-ball, then put on another brisk stand of 47 runs before Williamson’s luck ran out and he was caught brilliantly by Rohit Sharma at second slip for 47.

New Zealand went into Tea on 166/8, which put India firmly in the drivers’ seat in the match.

India had to face some attack from Tim Southee (32) in the final session before they finally bowled the Kiwis out for 192, which looked about par for the surface in Wellington.

The Kiwi bowlers started off in good fashion as Tim Southee had Murali Vijay unfortunately caught behind for 2 after the Tamil Nadu batsman shouldered arms to a seaming delivery. India’s centurion from the first test match, Shikhar Dhawan, though got himself in with some gritty batting with No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara, before playing some exquisite shots. Dhawan got to fifty in quick time, pushing anything slightly lose from the Kiwis and consequently saw off a dangerous new-ball spell. Pujara and Dhawan added 87 runs for the 2nd wicket before the former was trapped LBW by Trent Boult for 19, with just 10 mins left in the day’s play. India ended on a commanding 100/2 with Dhawan batting on 71 and nightwatchman Ishant Sharma keeping him company on 3*.

Mini Scorecard:

1st innings

New Zealand 192 all out (52.4 overs, 3.63 rpo)

K Williamson 47(100) I Sharma 6/51

J Neesham 33(35) M Shami 4/70

India 100/2 (28 overs, 3.57 rpo)

S Dhawan 71* (87) T Boult 1/18

C Pujara 19(59) T Southee 1/20