tighten grip on first Test against New Zealand
tightened their grip on the first Test as New Zealand were
struggling at 106 for five in the first innings, still needing 133
runs to avoid the follow-on, after the second day's play in the
first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi
Hyderabad: Off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin ended with match figures of 12 for 85 as Indian
won the first cricket test against New Zealand by an innings and
115 runs on the fourth day at the Rajiv Gandhi International
Cricket Stadium at Uppal here Sunday.
The visitors were all out for 164 runs in the second innings after
India had enforced the follow-on. The Kiwis had scored 159 in the
first innings in reply to India's 438.
Man-of-the-Match Ashwin took a dozen wickets in 43.2 overs, the
best match figures by an Indian bowler against New Zealand. He had
picked up six for 31 in the first innings. The other Indian
spinner, Pragyan Ojha, claimed six wickets for 92 in the match.
The Kiwis collapsed like proverbial ninepins as they lost nine
wickets for 66 runs on the penultimate day of the rain-hit match.
The Indian spinners dominated the show after a fine 159 by
Cheteshwar Pujara had helped India amass a 400-plus total in the
first two days.
It took just seven overs for India after the tea break to seal the
victory and go one up in the two-match series. The Black Caps, who
were at one stage fighting well at 98 for one were reduced to 146
for six at tea and lost the remaining wickets for the addition of
another 18 runs after the break.
Resuming at their overnight 41 for one, after play was delayed by
two hours due to rain, Brendon McCullum (42) and Kane Williamson
(52) looked set for a big score. Playing defiantly against the
Indian spinners, they denied the hosts any breakthrough till
lunch. The score was then 92 for one.
The first breakthrough of the day for India came in the third over
after lunch but in a rather controversial manner. McCullum was
adjudged leg before to Umesh Yadav when an inside edge seemed to
have hit the pad as he tried to defend. With no DRS, the Kiwi
opener had no option but to walk back to the pavilion. He was
furious, shaking his head repeatedly and tossing the bat from one
hand to the other as he walked towards the dressing room.
McCullum and Williamson resumed well in the morning and denied any
breakthrough to India in the first session. For the first time,
the Kiwi batsmen showed some character against Indian spinners and
executed their game plan well.
However, in the post-lunch session, the hosts turned the tables on
Black Caps with the fall of McCullum. Skipper Ross Taylor (7)
failed yet again as he was deceived by a Ashwin delivery, which
sharply came in hitting the stumps. The lost of two wickets in
quick succession shortly after lunch brought the pressure back on
Williamson along with Flynn then tried to steer the inning. The
two added 33 runs for the fourth wicket before Ojha struck again
to remove Williamson. A thick outside edge landed safely into the
hands of Virender Sehwag at the first slip, bringing an end to
Williamson's inning. He was the most successful batsman for the
New Zeland scoring 52 off 163 balls with four hits to the fence.
Ashwin dealt another blow when he trapped Daniel Flynn (11) in
front of the stumps. The Kiwis slumped to 142 for five and Indian
camp was already sensing victory.
James Franklin (5), who was the top scorer for the Kiwis in the
first innings with an unbeaten 43, did not last long. Sehwag at
the first slip dived to his right and took a sensational one-hand
catch after wicket keeper Dhoni was also beaten by a ball which
bounced and was sharply drifting away. It was a beauty from Ashwin,
who claimed the ninth wicket of the match.
After denying Indian bowlers any success in the morning session,
New Zealand lost five wickets with the addition of 54 runs between
lunch and tea.
The worst was yet to come for them. There was no change of
fortunes after the tea as Indian spinners tightened their grip on
the tail-enders. Competing with his spin partner at the other end,
Ojha dismissed Doug Bracewell (1) in the second over after tea.
Ashwin claimed 10th wicket when he had Kruger Van Wyk (13) leg
before the wicket. The Kiwi wicket keeper batsman attempted a
sweep shot but found himself trapped before the stumps.
The spinner completed the formalities in his next over. Boult had
no clue to a ball which spun, took an outside edge and once again
Sehwag took a low catch at the first slip. This was his third
catch of the day.
Two balls later, Ashwin trapped Chris Martin in front of the
stumps to give India their first victory after the defeat in eight
tests. Ashwin also completed his second six wicket haul of the
match and a holiday crowd of over 20,000 erupted in joy.