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Indian batsmen allow New Zealand to seize momentum with reckless shots

By The Assam Tribune

CHRISTCHURCH, Feb 29: Indian batsmen showed intent but their reckless shot selection took them only as far as 242 on an eventful opening day of the second Test against New Zealand, here on Saturday.

Prithvi Shaw (54) and Cheteshwar Pujara (54) hit contrasting half-centuries to take the fight to the rival camp. However, Hanuma Vihari�s (55 off 70 balls) dismissal at the stroke of tea tilted the scale in New Zealand�s favour as they gained a clear upper-hand by stumps.

Kyle Jamieson (5/45) in an inspired post-tea spell blew away the middle and lower-order to finish with his maiden five-wicket haul in only his second Test.

The hosts ended the day at 63 for no loss with both the openers Toms Latham (27 batting) and Blundell (29 batting) hardly troubled by Indian pacers.

The pitch will be best for batting on days two and three which means that for Virat Kohli and his men, the catch-up game starts from the second day itself as ignominy of a 0-2 series loss looms large.

On a green-top, three Indian batsmen showed that scoring runs wasn�t difficult.

Shaw�s lunging drive after his second half-century in Tests and Vihari and Pujara�s ill-timed pull shots were a testimony that their dismissals were more about profligacy than New Zealand�s bowling.

Rishabh Pant, who has been preferred over a much-accomplished Wriddhiman Saha, purely on batting skills, played a lazy shot to find his stumps rattled.

From 194 for four with a standard first innings total of 350 looking imminent, India lost five wickets for 22 runs in a period of six overs and it could well have a decisive impact in the final outcome of the contest.

Jamieson, in his post-tea spell, got rid of Pujara, Pant and Umesh Yadav in quick succession as India lost a golden opportunity to press home the advantage.

The 32 boundaries and three sixes with a run-rate of 3.84 in 63 overs will not able to tell the story how Indians fluffed their lines during the day.

The immensely talented Shaw displayed improved footwork that saw him drive elegantly as the likes of Trent Boult (2/89) and Colin de Grandhomme (0/31) were guilty of over-pitching in trying to get some swing. � PTI


India 1st Innings:

Prithvi Shaw c Latham b Jamieson 54

Mayank Agarwal lbw b Boult 7

Cheteshwar Pujara c Latham b Jamieson 54

Virat Kohli lbw b Southee 3

Ajinkya Rahane c Taylor b Southee 7

Hanuma Vihari c Watling b Wagner 55

Rishabh Pant b Jamieson 12

Ravindra Jadeja c Boult b Jamieson 9

Umesh Yadav c Watling b Jamieson 0

Mohammed Shami b Boult 16

Jasprit Bumrah not out 10

Extras: (B-4, LB-6, WD-5) 15

Total (For all out in 63 overs) 242

Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-80, 85, 4-113, 5-194, 6-197, 7-207, 8-207, 9-216.

Bowling: Tim Southee 13-5-38-2, Trent Boult 17-2-89-2, Colin de Grandhomme 9-2-31-0, Kyle Jamieson 14-3-45-5, Neil Wagner 10-2-29-1.

New Zealand 1st innings:

Tom Latham batting 27

Tom Blundell batting 29

Extras: (B-4, LB-3) 7

Total: (For no loss in 23 overs) 63

Bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 7-1-19-0, U Yadav 8-1-20-0, Mohammed Shami 7-1-17-0, Ravidnra Jadeja 1-1-0-0.

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